London Undergound

The UK’s London Underground (LU) is set to be hit by two more 24h strikes later this month after Night Tube talks between the company and the rail unions stalled again.

Members from Tube workers’ unions the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT), Unite and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) would be joining the two day stoppages on 25 and 27 August over work-life balance and job cuts with September’s night time tube.

The walkouts will start at 6.30pm on 25 August and again at 6.30pm on 27 August, causing disruption to services across the whole week.

The train drivers’ union Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (ASLEF) is yet to decide on the action it will take.

"It is now time for the mayor to start getting his hands dirty and get down to serious negotiations to avoid a week of disruption on the Tube."

A 24h Tube strike was carried out on 5 August in London, after rail union bosses and LU failed to agree on pay and conditions related to the new Night Tube service.

Earlier this month, the LU had put forward an offer, which included a 2% salary increase this year, an extra £200-a-night shift for drivers for a limited time and a £500 bonus for night Tube staff when the service is introduced on 12 September.

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The offer also includes a £500 bonus in February next year after the completion of customer service modernisation plans.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: "Our members the length and breadth of London Underground have made it clear that they are determined to protect their work/life balance, and not fall into a trap where they will be forced to wreck their home lives in order to comply with the ‘rosters from hell’ which have been drawn up to plug the staffing gaps in the Night Tube plans.

"Staff are angry that their grievances are being ignored and dismissed by both the mayor and his officials and that there has been no substantial move as of today from London Underground to make progress towards a negotiated settlement.

"That is why we have no option but to strike again. It is ridiculous that the job cuts programme for fleet, engineering and station staff is also still being bulldozed through against this background."

TfL earlier noted that drivers will have the same number of weekends off as now, no-one will be asked to work more hours than they currently do and annual leave will remain at 43 days for a train driver and 52 days for station staff.

The offer was outright rejected by the unions and demanded more money, the hiring of even more staff and a four-day, 32h-working week for Tube employees.

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: "It is now time for the mayor to start getting his hands dirty and get down to serious negotiations to avoid a week of disruption on the Tube.

"He will bear a heavy responsibility if the 48h stoppage goes ahead while he washes his hands of his crucial role as the democratic leader of London."


Image: London Underground tube services will be stopped on 25 and 27 August. Photo: © RMT.