Croydon Tramlink strike and train disruption next week

South London passengers face major disruption to their journeys next week as engineers vital to the running of Croydon Tramlink plan to walk out in strikes over pay and works are due to take place across the tram and train network.

About 60 Croydon Tramlink engineers are expected to go on strike over pay from March 24, to March 28. Unite the union has warned that industrial action will escalate if the dispute is not resolved.

Tram, stores and infrastructure engineers are “angry” that their colleagues on the London Underground, who require the same qualifications, are paid up to £10,000 more a year, the union said.

The pay disparity is causing Tramlink staffing shortages, according to Unite,  because workers leave as soon as a higher paid job becomes available on the London Underground.

Unite regional officer Bruce Swann said: “The entire employment situation of these workers is a mess. 

“While TfL might claim this is the fault of historic mistakes, Unite believes it is simply trying to continue to run these services on the cheap at the expense of these workers. 

“TfL needs to resolve the massive pay disparity and other issues, or this dispute will continue to escalate.”

The union said the workers were on office worker contracts despite their technical roles, and although TfL agreed last year to change the workers contracts it had “failed to implement this commitment”.

Unite regional officer Bruce Swann (Picture: Unite the Union)

Navid Golshan, general manager for London Trams at TfL, said: “We are continuing discussions with Unite the Union as we try to resolve the dispute.

“We are committed to continuing to ensure our staff are paid fairly and to ensure pay is benchmarked against comparable industry rates.  

 “We have offered Unite the Union the opportunity to discuss the detail of where their members feel there is disparity.”

The strikes will be followed by engineering work on Thameslink and Southeastern train routes over the Easter weekend.

TfL said a reduced service was expected on the whole of the London Trams network for some of the planned strike days.

Bus and Overground services were expected to operate as normal but could be busier than usual.

On Thameslink there will be a bus replacement service between Herne Hill and Bromley South from Good Friday to Easter Monday. These buses will not stop at Nunhead or Ravensbourne.

Thameslink Sevenoaks and Orpington services will also run to a revised timetable with diversions expected.

On Southeastern trains there will be no services through Denmark Hill from March 29, until April 1, with all lines between Brixton and Nunhead closed for engineering work.

Additionally, between March 29 and April 1, there will be replacement bus services between Lewisham and Sidcup due to engineering work.

Pictured top: TfL Tram sign / Unite regional officer Bruce Swann (Picture: TfL / Unite the union)

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