Wimbledon fans face potential travel problems over 12-day tram strike

A London tram on its way to Wimbledon (Transport for London)
A London tram on its way to Wimbledon (Transport for London)

Travel to this year’s Wimbledon tennis championship could by hit by strike action on London’s tram network.

The Unite union said engineers working on London Trams will strike for 12 days from the end of June.

They first walked out in March in protest of being paid up to £10,000 a year less than their colleagues on the London Underground, despite requiring the same qualifications and performing the same roles, according to Unite union.

Unite put further action on hold for talks with Transport for London (TfL) but accused them of failing to “engage in good faith” on issues of pay and on Monday announced strikes from June 30 until July 8 and from July 11 until July 15.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “TfL thinks it can employ these workers on the cheap and treat them as second-class employees. The situation is totally unacceptable and our members are absolutely right to take strike action. They have Unite’s unflinching support.”

The strikes will impact services across Croydon and South London, affecting transport to this year’s Wimbledon, Unite said.

Regional officer Bruce Swann said: “The blame for the disruption that will be caused lies squarely at the door of TfL. Our members have bent over backwards to give TfL the opportunity to resolve this dispute before more industrial action was called. Unfortunately, TfL has engaged in time wasting and obfuscation.

“Strikes could be avoided, but TfL needs to rapidly table a solution to the issues that have led to such large and unfair pay inequalities.”

A TfL spokesperson said: “We would never enter conversations in bad faith, and have been open and honest throughout the process.

“We have presented proposals to our union colleagues to help address the issues raised in the meetings that we have had, including identifying roles with pay disparity and looking at how we can resolve this.

“We remain open to talks and urge Unite the Union to suspend their action and work with us to address their concerns.”