London Tube Strikes 2021: Union and TfL in talks to avoid walk-outs for third weekend in a row

London Underground staff could strike this weekend, which would cause disruption for the third weekend in a row.

It also stated that if the strike action continues much longer, it will soon cost London Underground more in lost passenger revenue than it would to settle the dispute.

Last week, TfL warned Londoners to check before they travelled and said the strikes could cause “severe disruption”.

Following today’s talks, the RMT also announced that it will begin a ballot of over 10,000 members for further industrial action after TfL announced its first phase on job cuts.

When are the Tube strikes?

Central and Victoria lines (Night Tube):

  • 8.30pm on Friday December 10 and 4.29am on Saturday December 11.
  • 8.30pm on Saturday December 11 and 4.29am on Sunday December 12.
  • 8.30pm on Friday December 17 and 4.29am on Saturday December 18.

Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines:

  • 4.30am Friday December 17 to 4.29am on Saturday December 18.

Why are the strikes happening?

Union bosses have been demanding that TfL recruit new part-time Night Tube drivers for the relaunch of overnight weekend services.

They have also called on the transport body to ensure that drivers will only be expected to work night tube shifts on a voluntary basis.

The RMT has said that if this offer is accepted, it will end its strike action and even operate the disputed rosters on a temporary basis until the new model is up and running.

However TfL said that a voluntary system would not provide a reliable service London Underground, and it needs to have a degree of certainty with regards to working arrangements so travelling passengers can depend upon the service running.

TfL also said that roster changes were agreed with the other recognised unions in May 2021.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch. Credit: RMT

It said this has boosted Tube resilience, provided drivers with increased flexibility and that TfL has guaranteed no job losses.

The transport body also said that the proposals to train new drivers would cost £3.2 million and would push reintroduction of the Northern, Piccadilly and Jubilee Night Tube lines to 2023.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said:"A financial crisis at TFL has been deliberately engineered by the Government to drive a cuts agenda which would savage jobs, services, safety and threaten the working conditions and‎ pensions of our members.

"Today we have seen the opening salvo in what will become an all out assault on safety critical staff posts with 600 jobs on the block, mainly amongst our station members.

"The ballot opens Monday and we will be campaigning for a massive yes vote.

“The politicians need to wake up to the fact that transport staff will not pay the price for this cynically engineered crisis and we will coordinate a campaign of resistance with colleagues from other unions impacted by this threat. "

A TfL spokesperson said: "We welcome further talks with the RMT so that we can seek to resolve this dispute and avoid further disruption at such a pivotal time for London’s recovery.”