ON the eve of tonight’s tube strike action the RMT announced that it is calling for an immediate and indefinite suspension of the Mayor’s Night Tube vanity project.
RMT says that it is an open secret across the job that senior managers do not believe that the Night Tube is deliverable on 12th September without ‘unleashing repeated chaos’. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: ‘Despite all the bluster from Boris Johnson, Londoners need to be aware that Night Tube was rushed and botched from the off and that is why five weeks before it starts staff are striking because they will not accept that their work/life balance should be wrecked to plug the gaping holes in staffing capacity that should have been dealt with from day one.
‘We urgently need to get talks convened with tube professionals who understand the reasons behind a crisis which should never have been allowed to get this far.’
• Over 400 Unite members, working as electrical and maintenance technicians, linesmen and signallers on London’s tube network, will also be taking part in the 24 hour strike from 18:30 tonight in the ongoing dispute over the introduction of all-night tube services.
Accusing London Underground of offering nothing ‘meaningfully new’, the union said it was left with little choice but to reject the latest offer as it fails to give future guarantees over work/life balance and unsocial hours working. Unite members will be joining members from ASLEF, RMT and TSSA in the 24 hour stoppage.
Commenting, Unite regional officer Hugh Roberts said: ‘We have engaged in Acas talks in a positive manner hopeful that we could avoid further industrial action. Sadly, that has not been the case with London Underground which has rehashed previous offers and failed to give future guarantees over work/life balance and unsocial hours working.
‘Any reasonable employer wanting to introduce unsocial night shifts and the upheaval that brings to their workers’ home life would be engaging with workforce representatives in a constructive manner. Instead, London Underground has offered nothing meaningfully new. Its refusal to give firm long-term commitments on the number of weekend and unsocial shifts expected to be worked leaves our members unable to plan their future family time.’