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RMT threatens more Night Tube strikes as TfL hires 180 part-timers

The Night Tube has once again come under fire as transport union RMT set out to ballot Tube Lines staff for strike action after representatives rejected the latest pay offer.

According to the union, the pay offer was identical to the offer made to London Underground staff, which has been consistently rejected over the last year and ultimately delayed the service indefinitely.

In regards to the Night Tube, this includes a £500 bonus payment to all staff – already included in the revised Underground offer made in December, which RMT members outright rejected.

RMT’s general secretary, Mick Cash, said the Tube Lines offer has also been rejected by its representatives as “wholly unsatisfactory”. Members will be balloted both on strike action and action short of a strike.

“RMT has made it clear that with growing numbers of Tube users, and planned expansions of the service, the staff in all grades who are expected to keep the railway running must be respected and their efforts properly rewarded,” he said. “The union remains available for talks.”

Tube Lines, the wholly-owned subsidiary of London Underground concerned with the Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee lines, has nearly 1,300 members in the union responsible for looking after maintenance and upgrade works.

Just yesterday, RTM revealed that London mayor Boris Johnson MP has already opened applications for 300 new part-time drivers for the night service, which existing drivers can apply for. Transport for London (TfL) later corrected this to 180 posts.

London Underground chief operating officer, Steve Griffiths, commented: “Following union feedback and in order to protect the work-life balance of our staff, we are hiring part-time drivers specifically to run the Night Tube. The recruitment of these drivers does not impact our existing agreements with the unions, and these positions are open to both internal and external candidates.

“Recruiting part-time drivers will guarantee that no current driver will have to work the Night Tube, unless they choose to do so. We are now focused on the recruitment and training of these drivers in order to deliver the Night Tube for London as quickly as possible.”

But a TfL spokeswoman also recently confirmed that a roll-out date has not yet been decided.

Leaders from rail union Aslef are due to report to their executive committee this month and potentially threaten more industrial action.

(Top image c. TfL)


Mark Bott   06/01/2016 at 16:50

Just another chance for TfL to delude themselves that they do not have an industrial relations problem. just like they did throughout last years tube strikes. Untold misery and inconvenience to millions and all somebody else's fault. TfL have already wasted a lot of money on this, is it not about time they stopped and started doing what they are meant to do. That is ensure that passengers get where they are going in a timely and safe way.

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