London Underground: Union set to strike during Night Tube relaunch up to Christmas

Commuters use the Tube. Credit: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty ImagesCommuters use the Tube. Credit: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images
Commuters use the Tube. Credit: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images | AFP via Getty Images
The RMT union has told drivers not to book any Night Tube shifts from the relaunch on November 27 up to December 18.

The Night Tube’s planned relaunch has been thrown into chaos after union bosses told London Underground drivers to strike on its first returning weekend.

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However now this has been thrown into chaos with the call for strike action - which threatens to disrupt the Christmas party season.

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RMT general secretary Mick Lynch. Credit: RMTRMT general secretary Mick Lynch. Credit: RMT
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch. Credit: RMT | Credit: RMT

The RMT made the dramatic announcement on Thursday night, saying Transport for London had put “unacceptable and intolerable demands on staff” which would wreck their work-life balance.

It claimed that it had made every effort to reach an agreement with TfL, but it was left with “no alternative than to resume industrial action”.

The union’s executive has called on drivers on all Night Tube lines - Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria - not to book work from 4.30am on Friday November 26 to 4.29am on November 27.

It has also called for action on the Central and Victoria lines between:

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  • 8.30pm on Saturday November 27 to 4.29am Sunday November 28.
  • 8.30pm on Friday December 3 and 4.29am on Saturday December 4.
  • 8.30pm on Saturday December 4 and 4.29am on Sunday December 5.
  • 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.

General secretary Mick Lynch said: “No one has worked harder to ensure a safe environment for women on London Underground than the RMT.

“While Tube bosses have axed staff and left stations routinely unstaffed, with all of the obvious risks, we have campaigned relentlessly for the front line, physical ‎presence of visible staff on stations and platforms.

“We are now being repaid by the imposition of working arrangements that would wreck the work-life balance of our members.

“All of this was avoidable if the Tube management hadn’t axed dedicated Night Tube staff and perfectly workable arrangements in order to cut staffing numbers and costs.

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“It’s that action which has led us to make the announcement.

“RMT supports the reintroduction of the Night Tube but we know full well that prior to its suspension during the pandemic it was a magnet for violent, abusive and anti-social behaviour.

“The Mayor and his officials cannot ignore that fact and the hard reality that it’s RMT members who made it a success in the first place. They now feel totally betrayed.

“We warned months ago that slashing two hundred Night Tube train driver positions would create a staffing nightmare and LU need to start facing up to that reality.

“The union remains available for talks.”

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Nick Dent, director of London Underground customer operations, said: “We are disappointed that the RMT is threatening London with this unnecessary action.

“The positive changes to Tube driver rosters have provided greater flexibility for drivers as well as permanent work and job certainty, something welcomed by all other unions.

“We have been meeting with the RMT for a number of months through ACAS to try and resolve their issues and we remain open to talking further.”

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