'Solid' support for industrial action over night tube grade
RMT says there is solid support for strike action
The RMT have confirmed its intention to hold four days of industrial action announced last month two of which take place at the beginning of August.
This means that services are likely to be hit next Tuesday and Thursday (3 and 5 August).
The union is accusing London Underground management of blocking progress on the discussion of the pay grade of Night Tube drivers and says that there is solid support for strike action among its members.
It has instructed Tube drivers not to work for 24 hours on August 3, 5, 25 and 26.
It comes following a decision from London Underground Limited to abolish the grade of Night Tube train driver which the RMT will lead to the loss of 200 jobs.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said, “London Underground’s proposals to rip up an agreement that protects 3000 Tube drivers work life balance has caused uproar in the depots amongst drivers.
“This breach of trust by an out of touch management abolishes the part time jobs of workers – mainly women – who want them.
“This is the thanks that Tube drivers have been given for keeping the service running through the Covid pandemic. This is a blatant attempt to now use that pandemic to start bulldozing through a savage programme of cuts.”
TfL wants to merge the night tube grade into the standard tube staff grade as the night tube staff being segregated from the rest of the staff reduces flexibility. Drivers represented by other unions have accepted the changes so the tube network will not be totally shut down but the strike coincides with engineering work taking place on the District and Circle line.
Nick Dent, Director of Customer Operations for London Underground, said, 'The changes to how we roster our drivers to continue to provide a regular Tube service and create more flexibility for our staff have not resulted in any job losses.
'Our drivers have been vital in keeping the Tube running during the pandemic, ensuring that key workers could move around the city during the lockdowns and helping fuel London's recovery in more recent weeks.
'This new arrangement means that all drivers have been given the opportunity for full-time work and long-term job certainty, while Londoners can continue to rely on the regularity of Tube services.
'These changes will allow us to operate both day-to-day Tube services and Night Tube more efficiently, and as our agreement with our other trade unions reflects they will be positive for drivers as well as for customers.
'It is extremely disappointing that the RMT has decided to announce strike action to disrupt Londoners and the recovery from coronavirus.
'We remain open to discussions to avoid this unnecessary industrial action.'
A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said, 'Tube drivers have held a vital role in keeping London running throughout the pandemic, and regular, reliable Tube services are an important part of the capital's recovery.
'I urge the RMT to continue discussions to avoid this disruption to Londoners and the capital.'
The Night Tube was suspended in March in March last year ahead of the first national lockdown, with many staff moved to help run services during the day.
TfL commissioner Andy Byford confirmed earlier this year that 24-hour Tube services would not return until 2022 at the earliest.
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July 29, 2021