London is set to be crippled by double strike action leaving many commuters prepared to write off an entire working week.
Workers on the Docklands Light Rail network have announced a three day stoppage - a strike that coincides with a 48 hour strike on London Underground.
DLR staff will walkout at 4am Wednesday 23rd June, joined later by their Tube colleagues at 7pm.
All are members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union. Passenger groups say the coordinated strikes make a mockery of union leaders claims to be fighting for the travelling public and render their apologies hollow.
Both disputes involve a private company who are contracted to run public services. Workers for Serco, who run the DLR are striking over pay - maintenance staff at Tube Lines are striking over pay, jobs and conditions as the firm transfers to public ownership.
North, South, East and West
Tube Lines workers are due to stage a further 48-hour strike on July 14, both will have a serious impact on the Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee lines. Tens of thousands of people could be stranded at the O2 Area which holds Bon Jovi concerts on the first and last nights of the strike.
DLR strikes will hit the east of London hard, including services to London City Airport.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said:
"Our members on the Docklands Light Railway have shown once again that they will not be bullied by management into taking on more work and more responsibility without being properly compensated by the company.
RMT has made every effort to reach a negotiated settlement on this issue but all of our proposals have been thrown back in our face. That is no way to run a key element of London's transport system.
We remain available for further talks and hope that in light of the massive mandate for action that has been delivered by our members that Serco will now get back round the table and take our proposals for compensating our members for this major change to the DLR seriously."
David Godley, managing director of Serco Docklands called the industrial action "opportunistic" and employees "have not had any change to job descriptions or terms or conditions of their employment."
"We have offered further talks with the RMT and are awaiting a reply," he added
"We do not control Tube Lines"
As for the Underground strikes a TfL spokesman argued that it does not currently control Tube Lines.
"We are working to conclude the acquisition of the company by the end of June, which will benefit all Londoners by effectively ending the public private partnership which has wasted hundreds of millions of pounds and led to delays to upgrade work.
The RMT have time and again called for Tube Lines' work to come back under public control and that is what we are working to achieve. Furthermore, this is an existing dispute about pay and conditions and not about the proposed transfer of Tube Lines to TfL."
Industrial action followed a nine to one vote for strikes. The impact could spread beyond the Tube's three busiest lines as the Emergency Response Unit, that deals with urgent repairs that keep the system running, is run by Tube Lines on behalf of the whole of London Underground.
Mayor & TfL "need to take responsibility"
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said after the big noise made about taking over Tube Lines, the Mayor and TfL "need to take responsibility for the mess that the company has left behind" including disputes.
"The mayor cannot wash his hands of this dispute, which will cause massive disruption for Londoners if we fail to get assurances on the key points that have provoked the strike action.
He needs to show some real leadership and that means direct talks with RMT now that he is calling the shots at Tube Lines.
If the cuts on Tube maintenance are allowed to let rip, there is no question that lethal corners will be trimmed, with disastrous consequences. We need direct talks right at the top to hammer these issues out. We are getting nowhere with the zombie management at the rotting corpse of Tube Lines."
Boris Johnson made a "no strike" deal a major part of his transport manifesto, a policy that has been met with little success.