Starting today, lakhs of people have to face travel difficulties as major lines run less service or come to a complete standstill.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union today began a series of 24-hour walkouts over the change in staff rota to restart the Night Tube after talks between the transports. London ,TfL) and the union owners broke up.
The union said their members were being asked to work both night shifts and day shifts, as dedicated night workers were laid off.
The Victoria, Central, North, Piccadilly and Jubilee lines were suspended at 4.30 a.m. today, causing further disruption for the Bakerloo, Circle, District, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan lines.
TfL says these lines are likely to be severely disrupted every weekend from 7 pm onwards, which comes as a big blow to those moving around in December.
A TfL source told the London Evening Standard yesterday that ‘not a significant amount has developed’ since the industrial action was announced, but that TfL is ‘open to talks’ with RMT.
TfL warned of disruptions in services and advised people to check before travelling.
Night Tube has been suspended due to the pandemic and is scheduled to resume on Friday.
The Victoria, Central, North, Piccadilly and Jubilee lines were suspended at 4.30 a.m. today, causing further disruption to the Bakerloo, Circle, District, Hammersmith and City and Metropolitan lines.
From now till December 18, every Saturday and Sunday there will be action on Central and Victoria Line from 8.30 pm to 4.30 pm.
Passengers leave a busy Underground train still wearing their facemasks in London
Which tube lines will be affected and why are drivers going on strike?
What is happening?
The RMT began a 24-hour walkout on five tube lines from 4.30 am on Friday, 26 November.
Which tube lines will be affected?
TfL said tube lines are about to be affected:
- 4:30am Nov 26 – 4:29am Nov 27 (Central, Jubilee, North, Piccadilly & Victoria)
- 8:30 p.m. Nov. 27 – 4:29 a.m. Nov. 28 (Central and Victoria)
- 8:30 pm December 3 – 4:29 am December 4 (Central and Victoria)
- 8:30 pm December 4 – 4:29 am December 5 (Central and Victoria)
- 8:30am December 10th – 4:29am December 11th (Central and Victoria)
- 8:30am December 11th – 4:29am December 12th (Central and Victoria)
- 8:30am December 17th – 4:29am December 18th (Central and Victoria)
- 4:30am Dec 18 – 4:29am Dec 19 (Central, Jubilee, North, Piccadilly & Victoria)
Why are tube drivers on strike?
TfL announced that London’s Night Tube service is set to resume on the Victoria and Central line from 27 November.
The East–West Central Line and the North–South Victoria Lines were scheduled to operate overnight on Fridays and Saturdays each week.
RMT says the rota change has resulted in ‘unacceptable and unbearable demands’ on its members and their work-life balance.
Underground drivers are demonstrating regarding staff rota To restart the Night Tube, which is due to resume services on the Victoria and Central lines late Saturday night and Sunday morning.
TfL insisted that all other Tube unions agreed to changes to the rota in May, which came after integrating 200 Night Tube workers into TfL’s ‘Day Tube’ workforce, and calling the strike action ‘unnecessary’. said.
But RMT general secretary Mick Lynch accused the tube owners of ‘refusing to consider serious complaints at the center of the controversy’, but added that the union ‘remains open to dialogue’.
The union says the changes have resulted in “unacceptable and unbearable demands” on its members.
Similar attacks were planned during the summer on the same issue, which were called off after ‘last-ditch’ talks with the TfL.
Mayor Sadiq Khan and TfL are ‘convinced’ to be able to resume night services, but said they may be able to run fewer tube trains than expected.
TfL could face further disruption over Christmas as the ASLEF union threatened its members to strike over changes to TfL’s pension plans.
TfL is required to review its pension plans as a condition of the funding deal agreed with the government.
ASLEF’s Tube organizer Finn Brennan said if the changes were forced through there would be ‘hard work and sustained industrial action at the London Underground’, although no date has been confirmed.
Sir Brendan Barber, former Secretary General of TUC and current head of ACAS, has been appointed to lead a ‘truly independent’ review of TfL’s pensions.
TfL commissioner Andy Byford said the review has ‘no predetermined outcome’ and added that ‘we will report back in due course’.
In a statement, Mr Lynch said: ‘This strike is about the breaking of the popular and family-friendly agreements that helped make the original Night Tube so successful.
Instead, the company wants to cut costs and bring all the drivers into one pool, where they can be kicked at any time at the behest of the management.
‘We have made every effort to resolve this dispute with ACAS and in direct dialogue, but it is clear that LU bosses operate completely from the bottom line and have no interest in the well being of their staff or the service of passengers .
‘This strike action, and its dire consequences until Christmas, were avoidable if Tube management had not put in place dedicated Night Tube employees and fully workable arrangements to cut workforce and costs.
‘We warned months ago that reducing two hundred night tube train driver positions would create a staffing nightmare and LU would have to start facing that reality and soon.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan meeting members of the Battersea Power Station Community Choir, at the newly opened Battersea Power Station London Underground station, south London
‘The Sangh is available for further talks even at this late stage.’
Nick Dent, director of London Underground Customer Operations, said: ‘RMT’s planned strike action is unnecessary and will threaten London’s recovery from the pandemic without job losses and greater flexibility and job certainty for drivers.
‘While every other union has agreed to these changes and our employees have been taking advantage of the changes since August, we stand ready to work with RMT and review the changes once Night Tube services return.
‘This review can only be successful if the RMT agrees to meet with us to negotiate and roll back its proposed course of action so that we can all see how these changes will work in practice.
‘If RMT refuses to engage with us and takes unnecessary action, which is the time to create maximum disruption for our customers to enjoy London during the festive season, Londoners are advised to take the planned Check before you travel on strike action days. ,