RMT drivers threatening longest ever industrial action
Return of the Night Tube has not been smooth
The RMT Union has announce that it intends to continue industrial action over the issue of Night Tube shifts right through the first half of next year. This is believed to be the longest period of strikes ever undertaken by tube drivers.
It is planning strike action every weekend on the Night Tube until June because its members object to being asked to do four shifts a year on the service. The union says this would wreck the work life balance of drivers. Other unions have accepted the deal offered by London Underground (LU).
The strike will take place on the Central and Victoria Lines from Friday 7 January and Saturday 8 January starting at 8.30pm and ending at 8am the following day. Drivers will not book on for any duties during these times.
The union says that mandate extends to other lines and will consider broadening the action if LU fail to respond.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said. “If London Underground and the Mayor thought this fight for progressive and family friendly working practices was going away they need to think again.
“Our members have been reballoted and have delivered a solid mandate for action and its the failure of LU and Sadiq Khan to address the grievances at the heart of the dispute that leaves us no option but to confirm the programme of action today.
“RMT has repeatedly put forward cost neutral proposals that would repair the damage unleashed by deleting 200 driver posts and which would dig LU out of this mess. They have ignored us and that approach will have severe consequences for Londoners in the New Year.
“We remain available for further talks.”
The relaunch of the Night Tube, which the Mayor believes is essential for London’s night time economy and the safety of women in particular, has been hampered by strikes and driver absences due to Covid. The services which were originally supposed to have operated at 10 minute intervals have only been running every half hour at times.
Nick Dent, LU’s director of customer operations, said: “We’re disappointed that the RMT is continuing to push for strike action that would cause unnecessary disruption at a time when our customers need us most.
“We urge the RMT to join us for talks so we can work together to resolve this dispute.”
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December 23, 2021