Aslef tube drivers have struck before (Picture: Aslef)

London Underground drivers in the Aslef union have announced they will join strikes on 15 March, budget day.

They will be out alongside over 250,000 teachers across England and Wales and up to 100,000 civil service workers.

The Aslef decision could prompt the RMT to call tube strikes as well. However, the RMT declared that on the national rail network it would not call strikes so as not to interfere with NEU education union rallies.

The Aslef decision rightly rejects that argument—piling up strikes will increase the political impact of all the walkouts.

Aslef tube drivers had voted 99 percent in favour of strikes on a turnout out of 77 percent. Bosses are trying to bulldoze through changes to working arrangements and pensions without agreement.

The same mood to resist exists among  RMT members on the Underground, who haven’t been on strike since November.

The Aslef strike will shut down the vast majority of the Underground network. A united strike with RMT members would close even more areas while also showing bosses that workers, across unions, are united in their fight against the top.

“I’m pissed off that we didn’t strike on 1 February and there have been other strikes involving various workers across the country and we haven’t joined in,” RMT member Ebony told Socialist Worker. “I’m annoyed it’s taking so long for the RMT to get its act together and I’m not sure why we haven’t so far said we are striking on 15 March along with Aslef.” 

The RMT has live strike mandates on the Elizabeth line, part of the Underground network but controlled by a different operator. These workers can join the strike too to build a larger fight.

The RMT has called strikes at train operating companies and Network Rail for mid-march. The Tube could in these as well as 15 March.

Ebony thinks Underground strikes on the same days as all other rail strikes “would be good”.

“It would disrupt services, disrupt the company and piss off London Underground managers who are messing around with our pensions and terms and conditions,” she said.

Ebony said prolonged action will be a financial worry “but we have to send a clear message. If we do one strike day here and there, it won’t cause much of an impact,” she said.

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