'Pensioners Could Drive Tubes During Strikes'

London Assembly Member says retired drivers could keep network running

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Recently retired tube workers, such as drivers, signallers and station staff, could prop up the Underground during industrial action, according to GLA Conservative Richard Tracey.

Mr Tracey said, “It’s Londoners who will yet again suffer on their way to work, and businesses will be hit to the tune of £300m a day. It’s time to establish a pool of relief staff, much like London Fire Brigade’s current strike contingency. This means we’ll always have a core service even on strike days, and it could be run by retired staff like the fire brigade. It’s an insurance policy for Londoners and the Mayor needs to make it happen.”

The London Fire Brigade has a 'contingency arrangement'. The external contractor covers all training, HR, transportation etc. and are paid an annual retainer. The tube could follow this model according to Mr Tracey.

New figures obtained from Transport for London (TfL) show 364 tube drivers alone have retired in the last five years - a small number of them could run a core service, and be paid the wages which the striking staff would have received.

Currently a tube driver can retire as early as 50 and will receive a full pension if they retire at 60. There is no obligation for a driver to retire once they reach the age of 65.

We asked TfL for a comment on the proposal but have yet to receive a reply.


August 6, 2015