Londoners, brace yourselves for commuter misery as union bosses have confirmed that a Tube strike is set to go ahead this week.
Union members from Aslef, RMT, TSSA and Unite rejected Transport for London’s (TfL) pay offer to settle a dispute over Night Tube services.
The 24-hour strike is set to begin from 9.30pm on Wednesday, 5 August. Yesterday, TfL said that Tube services will stop running at 6.30pm on Wednesday. This means that services between 4.30pm and 6.30pm will be “exceptionally busy”.
Aslef officer Finn Brennan said: “We genuinely regret the disruption this will cause, but the blame for this must rest with the pig-headed determination of the mayor to insist on a September 12 launch of night Tube instead of allowing more time for a negotiated settlement to be reached.”
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Our members have made it clear that the latest offer from London Underground is merely a rehash of the previous package and does nothing to tackle the core issue which revolves around staff being at the beck and call of management to be hauled in during their free time to try and plug the staffing gaps which riddle the mayor’s night Tube vanity project.
“The night Tube plan has been botched from the off. The basics haven’t been done and those who will pay for this shambles will not only be our members but the London daily travelling public who cough up a fortune and who will find their safety and the reliability of the service compromised from September 12 onwards.”
London Mayor Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said: “Despite the fair, sensible and generous offer on the table – which will see no one working more hours than they do today – the unions have chosen not to put it to their members and to reject it outright.
“The fact is that the night Tube is well supported by Londoners and by businesses across the capital.
“The mayor believes that most reasonable people see its introduction as a progressive move for transport in our city. He urges the unions to get back round the table and avoid this totally unnecessary strike.”
Here’s London Underground’s pay offer:
- An average 2% salary increase this year, and one per cent or inflation (whatever is higher) for 2016 and 2017;
- All staff on Night Tube lines or at stations serving them will be awarded £500 once the Night Tube is introduced on 12 September 2015, as promised in the original offer;
- Drivers to receive an extra £200 per Night Tube shift worked during the period Night Tube is introduced;
- In addition, station staff are being offered a £500 bonus for the successful completion of our modernisation of customer service by February 2016;
- Assurances on work-life balance – with amended rosters and the new staff already hired for Night Tube, which will give drivers the same number of weekends off as they receive now.
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