Latest Rail News

11.08.15

Unions to stage further Tube strikes

The RMT union has today announced two more 24-hour strikes in its Night Tube and station jobs dispute, following last week’s strike action.

‘Train operator’ and ‘instructor operator’ members will strike on 9pm on 25 August to 9pm on the following day, and again from 9pm on 27 August to 9pm on the following day.

All other grades will stage all-day strikes from 6.30pm on the same dates.

Mick Cash, general secretary of RMT, said: “Our members the length and breadth of London Underground (LU) have made it clear that they are determined to protect their work/life balance and not fall into a trap where they will be forced to wreck their home lives in order to comply with the ‘rosters from hell’, which have been drawn up to plug the staffing gaps in the Night Tube plans.

“Staff are angry that their grievances are being ignored and dismissed by both the mayor and his officials, and that there has been no substantial move as of today from London Underground to make progress towards a negotiated settlement.

“That is why we have no option but to strike again. It is ridiculous that the job cuts programme for fleet, engineering and station staff is also still being bulldozed through against this background.”

He added that the “basics” of the Night Tube haven’t been done and that running Tube services with “fatigued and burnt-out staff is a recipe for disaster”.

Steve Griffiths, LU’s chief operating officer, criticised the RMT leadership’s further demands for “unaffordable pay rises and the hiring of even more staff” despite union members having previously argued that it was “not about money”.

He added: “Instead of yet more strike threats, we need level-headed and sensible discussion on how to deliver a modern transport service for London, alongside fairly rewarding our hardworking staff and protecting their work/life balance.

“That deal needs to be affordable and sustainable – and certainly not be at the expense of massive fares rises or cuts to Tube improvements – and can only be agreed around a negotiating table, not through strike threats. We remain ready at all times to meet and negotiate such an agreement for the benefit of our staff, customers and London as a whole. We urge the unions to join us.”

The union set out a position statement yesterday in talks with LU at ACAS over pay and Night Tube job cuts, which the LU management was said to be considering.

Their position included criticisms of the suspension of two fleet trainers at Ealing Common without pay for “carrying out lawful industrial action”, which the union saw as “provocative, aggressive and an escalation by LU”. RMT also spoke against the “gun at the head” approach adopted by LU “which is not conducive to constructive talks”, but suggested deferring discussion on pay at this time in order to make any progress.

The statement added that the union is not opposed to the Night Tube if all issues were properly addressed, including issues with the rosters, work/life balance, and proper rewards.

However yesterday’s talks between the four main unions and LU bosses were fruitless.

Comments

Simonj   14/08/2015 at 12:53

Usual underworked union response to doing what many people do as a matter of course. Truck drivers not only drive from a to be but often load and unload their vehicles too - can you imagine the reaction of the aslef and rmt idlers if they had to do that too! All they want is more money and less work. LU should just sack the lot of them

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