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LU and unions to pick up Night Tube negotiations

Unions have decided to re-enter talks with London Underground management today (10 November) in a fresh attempt to end the ongoing Night Tube dispute.

Decisions over the controversial all-night service in the capital were stalled last month after talks between the two parties broke down once again – threatening to push the service back to 2016.

Soon after that, TSSA union’s Manuel Cortes wrote to London mayor Boris Johnson asking him for a face-to-face meeting to get the service back on track, but the mayor dismissed the offer as an attempt of “needless headline grabbing”.

But it seems like discussions are back on the table as LU’s chief operating officer, Steve Griffith, said all representatives are due back at Acas today to try to move discussions forward.

He added: “We remain operationally ready to deliver the Night Tube and have hired 500 mostly part-time staff to run it. Those staff are fully employed serving customers in station and running trains across the Tube network.

“We are due back at Acas this week, when we hope to move forward in our discussions with the unions, so we can deliver the Night Tube service for London.”

Cortes said he was pleased to hear that talks are back on the agenda after Johnson cast doubts on the service last week after claiming it was not “absolutely critical” to the city.

But he criticised the “game of political football now being played” with the service and claimed a face-to-face meeting between union chiefs and the mayor was vital to accelerate talks.

“We get that a Night Tube service will benefit passengers, workers, tourists and the future economy of our great city. But this playing politics with vital investment in the creation of a 24-hour tube service has just got to stop,” Cortes said.

“Our negotiating teams return to the table today in good faith and remain completely committed to delivering the best and safest possible transport services for Londoners.

“But I once again repeat my offer to Boris to break the habit of a lifetime and hold face-to-face talks with me and other union leaders to make a Night Tube reality.”

RMT general secretary, Mick Cash, hoped that today’s talks will make enough significant progress on the remaining issues so that a start date can be arranged.

(Top image c. Tim Ireland/PA Images)


Martin T   10/11/2015 at 12:27

The unions will benefit from the night tube. More staff will be needed. The unions will have more members. That gives them more income. Delaying the introduction of the night tube has not helped them, and demanding higher payments for staff who work on lines that will not have a 24-hour service makes them look money grasping and abusing the passengers' pockets.

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