TUBE UNION RMT went ahead with strike action by tube drivers on Friday night.
The action is over the ripping up of existing agreements and working arrangements in advance of the Night Tube reopening which the union says will wreck work life balance by bulldozing through additional night and weekend working.
In talks this week RMT negotiators said that they could recommend suspension of the programme of action if London Underground (LU) bosses agreed to step back from their current proposals, halted the demands being placed on drivers and gave themselves a space to recruit new, dedicated Night Tube drivers to fill the gaps that have developed since the pandemic began.
The union says that LU has refused point blank this week to consider this serious offer and it has become clear the drive from tube bosses is all about cutting costs regardless of the impact on staff and the services they operate. As a result the planned action continues as follows:
All train operator and instructor operators working on the Central and Victoria lines are instructed not to book on for any duty commencing:
between 20:30 on 3/12/21 and 04:29 on 4/12/21
between 20:30 on 4/12/21 and 04:29 on 5/12/21
between 20:30 on 10/12/21 and 04:29 on 11/12/21
between 20:30 on 11/12/21 and 04:29 on 12/12/21
between 20:30 on 17/12/21 and 04:29 on 18/12/21
All train operator and instructor operators working on Night Tube lines (Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly & Victoria) are also instructed not to book on for any duty commencing from 04:30 on 18/12/21 to 04:29 19/12/21.
General Secretary Mick Lynch said yesterday: ‘We are angry and disappointed that the tube management have refused to move forward based on genuine and realistic proposals that could have enabled us to recommend the suspension of the planned action. As a result the strike tomorrow goes ahead
‘The issue at the heart of the dispute is that the dedicated Night Tube driver grade, which was popular with women and those with caring responsibilities, and which the union fought to get written in to the original Night Tube agreement, has been ripped up with complete disregard for the staff themselves.
‘We have made every effort in ACAS and direct talks since the off to resolve this dispute but it is increasingly clear that LU bosses are driven solely by the bottom line and appear to have no interest whatsoever in the well being of their staff or the service to passengers.
‘The union remains available for further talks even at this late stage and it’s time for the Mayor to stop siding with the management against the union and start using his offices to push for a resolution.’