By Daniel Hunter
The tube strike planned for this week will go ahead, unions have said after rejected the latest offer from London Underground.
Drivers' union Aslef said it was left with no choice but to go ahead with the 24-hour strike which starts on Wednesday evening, keeping the London underground network closed on Thursday.
It will be the second strike in the space of a month over pay, conditions and the introduction of the 'Night Tube'. The unions say they do not oppose the idea of a 24-hour service, but want assurances over the number of weekend night shifts and number of staff required.
London Underground says the majority of tube drivers will only be required to take on a few additional weekend night shifts.
Finn Brennan, the London district organiser for Aslef, the drivers’ union, said it had consulted members across every line and depot: “The main concern is the complete lack of firm commitments on work-life balance for train drivers. We would be prepared to continue discussions to try to find common ground, but senior management are insistent that new rosters will be issued this week so the night tube starts on 12 September.
“This leaves us with no other choice than to go ahead with strike action from 21.30 on Wednesday. We genuinely regret the disruption this will cause.”
Mike Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime & Transport (RMT) union, said: “The night tube plan has been botched from the off. The basics haven’t been done and those who will pay for this shambles will not only be our members but the London daily travelling public who cough up a fortune and will find their safety and the reliability of the service compromised from 12 September onwards.”
The TSSA union said it has rejected London Underground offers because of fears over the state of its members' work-life balance. Its leader Manuel Cortes said: “There are a number of stations where there will be one member of staff on duty during the middle of the night. With crowds of potential drunks to deal with, we think that could be an accident waiting to happen.”
Transport for London (TfL) is recommending commuters to complete their journeys by 6:30pm on Wednesday to avoid disruption. More bus and river services will be put on, but TfL has said to avoid travelling at peak times if possible. The DLR, London Overground, trams and National Rail services will operate as normal, but are expected to be much busier than usual.
Steve Griffiths, London Underground’s chief operating officer, said: “Our customers are advised to check the TfL website for the latest information as we seek to resolve the dispute and to keep London moving should the unions go ahead with their action.”
Remote working could help your business to avoid the disruption of the Tube strike by allowing employees to work from home. This Business Advice article looks at how remote working can help your business to stay productive during travel chaos.