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Boxing Day Tube strike looking more likely

Aslef has rejected a fresh offer from London Underground aimed at ending the possibility of a Boxing Day drivers’ strike.

The union says the LU offer falls “well short” of their demands.

LU said it would give drivers greater flexibility with their leave over the Christmas period by proposing to schedule drivers to be on annual leave on Boxing Day, as is the case on Christmas Day, and asking drivers to volunteer to work that day. Drivers could then volunteer to work Boxing Day and exchange one day’s annual leave for pay; remain on annual leave for Boxing Day, provided there are sufficient volunteers, or; work on Boxing Day as normal but to take the annual leave on another day (the current arrangement).

Howard Collins, LU’s chief operating officer, said: “We have been in discussions with the ASLEF leadership to find a way to end this dispute and have made them what we believe is a very fair offer.  LU has a long-standing agreement with all trade unions which cover working arrangements on bank holidays, including Boxing Day. However, we have shown good faith and tried to find ways forward. Last year we reviewed the level of service of required for Boxing Day to closely match customer demand. This year we have offered to roster staff on leave and operate the service with staff who volunteer to work on Boxing Day thereby offering staff greater flexibility when it comes to their leave over the Christmas period.

“Further industrial action will not achieve anything and I would urge the ASLEF leadership to take this offer to their members and work towards resolving this dispute.”

Steve Grant, Aslef London district secretary, told the Evening Standard: “We want to make it absolutely clear that the proposals put forward do not meet the aspirations of Aslef or its members, indeed, they fall well short. We have given LU notice of our intention to ballot for strike action with a closing date of 17 December.”

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