Threat of Elizabeth Line's first strike as workers are balloted in pay row

London's new Elizabeth Line could be hit with strike action over pay for its workers.

Rail workers are to be balloted for strikes in a dispute over pay, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) said on Friday.

The union said its members are paid “significantly less” than equivalent workers across the network.

TSSA members will vote in the coming weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.

TSSA represents management grades employed by Rail for London Infrastructure (RfLI) including traffic managers, service infrastructure managers and incident response managers, who are safety-critical to running services across London’s new flagship west-east line.

The union said a strike would stop services running.

The new Elizabeth line cost £19 billion to build but TSSA says its workers are paid lower than contemporaries across the network Credit: PA Archive

The union said RfLI has offered a 4% pay rise, but added that workers at MTR – the outsourced part of the Elizabeth Line – received an 8.2% increase this year.

Meanwhile, Docklands Light Railway (DLR) staff received 9.25%, and staff at London Overground have been offered 6.5%.

Talks at the conciliation service Acas over recent weeks have failed to make any breakthrough.

TSSA organiser Mel Taylor said: “This dispute is fundamentally about unfairness and inequality in pay rates across the Transport for London network. RfLI need to change their Scrooge employment habits and make 2022 a happy Christmas.

“The Elizabeth Line is a brilliant addition to London’s transport services. Our members have years of experience and work on the most modern railway in the country yet are paid significantly less than staff doing similar roles across the network – including colleagues on the very same line.

“These are first-class services provided by first-class workers with second-class pay.

“Low pay is leading to high staff turnover, lack of fully trained staff, and reliance on overtime to run core services.

“Strike action by these workers would bring services across the Elizabeth Line to a standstill. There’s no need for it to come to that if RfLI can see sense and produce a fair offer which doesn’t continue to leave their staff the poor relations of the network.”

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