Tube strike: London Underground drivers overwhelmingly vote for 24-hour action over all-night service

Workers and bosses are in a dispute over arrangements for the new 'night Tube'

Jon Stone
Thursday 18 June 2015 16:28
Hold tight: passengers on the London Underground
Hold tight: passengers on the London Underground

London Underground drivers have voted overwhelmingly to strike in a row with bosses over how the new all-night Tube service will operate.

Members of the Aslef railway workers union backed strike action by 97 per cent on an 81 per cent turnout.

The union has announced a 24 hour strike from 9.30pm on 8 July, which it says would see the whole London Underground network shut down.

Two other unions, the RMT and TSSA, are also balloting their members for strikes.

The dispute is over how drivers and staff will be rostered and compensated when the new all-night rail service comes in at weekends in September.

Finn Brennan, Aslef district organiser, said bosses needed to be “realistic” about staff working arrangements.

“There is a window of opportunity for London Underground managers to avoid a summer of disruption by seriously engaging with us to find a solution. They need to withdraw the threat to impose new rosters and make a realistic offer on pay and conditions,” he said.

“We are always prepared to talk, but they have to start listening to this very clear message from their staff.

“Our members are entitled to a family life and to some sort of work/life balance. We aren’t opposed to all night services but we want them introduced in a fair and sensible way which rewards staff for their hard work and the contribution they make to the success of the London Underground.’”

Steve Griffiths, London Underground’s chief operating officer, said staff were working hard but that an existing pay offer was already fair.

“We have been in discussions with the unions since February, and are still in the midst of negotiations,” he said.

“We recognise the hard and valuable work of our staff and want to give them a pay rise this year and next. We also want to minimise the impact of the Night Tube on our people, and compensate those it will affect most. But pay levels for our staff are already fair, and any increase must be sustainable.

“Londoners and businesses overwhelmingly back the Night Tube, and trying to block something that will transform our city, and create more jobs, is short sighted. We encourage Aslef to make themselves available to continue our talks at Acas.”

The last full-scale Tube strike was in April 2014. It was called by RMT union workers over the closure of ticket offices.

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