Tube strike 'will definitely go ahead' despite fresh offer from TfL to avert travel chaos

Union negotiators were given until this evening to accept or reject a new offer for train workers

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The Independent Online

A 24-hour strike on London’s tube network will “definitely go ahead”, rail union Aslef has said, despite a new pay offer from TfL during night Tube negotiations. 

The “final” offer was made during last-ditch discussions and included a two per cent pay rise this year and £2,000 for drivers on the new night service. TfL hoped in hoped that the deal would avert the strike.

The company has given unions a deadline of responding by 6.30pm tonight, so that if the action is called off, plans can be made on running services. If they strike goes ahead, TfL said the offer will be withdrawn.

Shortly following negotiations, Aslef said it was standing firm on industrial action.

The previous offer offered by TfL was a £250 bonus for drivers transitioning to the night tube. Aslef negotiators told the Independent earlier on Monday that they were not optimistic about a new offer being tabled, making the developments a surprise.

Almost 20,000 workers are due to strike for 24 hours from 6.30pm on Wednesday - Budget Day - in a dispute over the new all-night Tube services.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), Aslef, Transport Salaried Staffs Association and Unite have been in dispute over pay being offered for the new service, due to start at weekends from mid-September, as well as rosters.

LU's chief operating officer Steve Griffiths said in a message to staff that a “full and final” offer had been made in a bid to conclude five months of talks.

The offer is for a 2 per cent increase on basic pay, RPI inflation or 1%, whichever is greater, in 2016 and 2017, a £500 non-consolidated “launch bonus” to all staff on night Tube lines or at stations serving these lines, and a £2,000 “transition bonus” for drivers working on the night Tubes.

Griffiths stressed in the new offer that staff would not be asked to work unlimited nights and weekends and that eventually, train operators will have the choice whether to work night tube shifts.

Additional reporting Press Association