The UK faces a period of mass disruption with hundreds of thousands of workers across the country set to strike across industries in the coming weeks in disputes over pay, pensions, jobs and conditions.
Rail staff, nurses, civil servants, bus drivers and postal workers are among those planning to walk out in the weeks before Christmas, with industrial action expected to continue into 2023.
Trade unions have been calling for better pay for their members amid the cost of living crisis, with inflation now at a 40-year high of 11.1 per cent.
London is currently being hit by a bus strike. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
When are the London bus strikes?
Workers on Abellio bus services in the capital are currently striking. Action had also been planned on Metroline services, but these were called off after a new pay offer was made, and accepted by Unite members.
Routes affected by the Abellio strike action are mostly in west and south London. They will be on the following dates:
- Friday 9 December
- Saturday 10 December
- Friday 16 December
- Saturday 17 December
Here are the routes affected:
- 3, 27, 45, 63, 68, 109, 130, 156, 195, 196, 201, 207, 267, 270, 278, 315, 322, 350, 367, 381, 407, 415, 427, 433, 464, 482, 490, 969, C10, E5, E7, E10, E11, H20, H25, H28, H26, P5, P13, R68, R70, S4, U5, U7, U9
Route 481 will operate but with fewer services on weekdays from 7.30-8am, and from 3-4pm.
- 24, 111, 159, 285, 344, 345
- N3, N27, N63, N68, N109, N207, N381
Why were the Metroline strikes cancelled?
More than 2,000 London bus drivers employed by Metroline were set to begin strike action on Thursday 8 December, but this was cancelled after they accepted an 11 per cent pay rise.
They had originally been offered a 4 per cent increase.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a significant victory for our members at Metroline who by standing together and being prepared to take industrial action, have secured a greatly improved pay offer.”
Are there Tube strikes in December?
There are currently no Tube strikes planned before the end of 2022.
Strikes organised by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) have brought the London Underground to near-standstill on multiple days this year, and its dispute with TfL is yet to be resolved.
That means there is still a chance of further action being called. Unions must give two weeks of official notice ahead of any strike action.
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When are the national rail strikes?
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) has announced further strike action over the festive period, including on Christmas Eve.
It comes after Network Rail made its latest offer, which the union is urging its members to reject.
The new strike dates are likely to hamper people’s Christmas travel plans, and come in addition to four planned days of action next week, and another four in January.
Staff at Network Rail represented by the RMT are set to walk out on Saturday 24 December at 6pm. They will remain on strike through Tuesday 27 December.
This strike involves workers who maintain railways, such as signallers and maintenance workers.
The RMT also represents staff at 14 rail companies, who are involved in a separate dispute.
The union has called action that will see more than 40,000 rail workers walk out on the following dates in December:
- Tuesday 13 December
- Wednesday 14 December
- Friday 16 December
- Saturday 17 December
There will be further action on the following dates in January 2023:
- Tuesday 3 January
- Wednesday 4 January
- Friday 6 January
- Saturday 7 January
Additionally, there will be an overtime ban across the railways from 18 December until 2 January, which will affect the number of services that can run.
National Rail said: “The rail industry is working hard to minimise the effect that this will have on services but it is inevitable that services will be cancelled or severely disrupted. It is likely that there will be a very limited service on these days with no trains at all on some routes.”
National Rail will update its journey planner closer to the time, advising customers of how services will be affected.
There are also two regional strikes planned in December.
Staff at Avanti West Coast will strike on Sunday 11 and Monday 12 December.
Workers at East Midlands Railway will walk out on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 December.
The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA), meanwhile, has announced it is calling off strikes planned for December and is putting an offer to its members.
Union members had been due to strike on 17 December and take other forms of industrial action from 13 December.