Tube drivers vote to strike over pay row and all-night service
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
London Underground drivers have voted to strike in a row over pay and the introduction of a new all- night Tube service.
Members of Aslef backed industrial action by 97 per cent in a turnout of 81 per cent.
The union says it is not opposed to the new weekend night Tube due to start in September but it is in dispute over pay.
Aslef said LU was trying to force through new rosters which would mean Tube drivers will have to work an unlimited number of weekend and night shifts for no extra pay.
Finn Brennan, Aslef’s district organiser, said: “There is a window of opportunity for London Underground managers to avoid a summer of disruption by seriously engaging with us to find a solution. They need to withdraw the threat to impose new rosters and make a realistic offer on pay and conditions.
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“We are always prepared to talk, but they have to start listening to this very clear message from their staff.
“Our members are entitled to a family life and to some sort of work/life balance. We aren’t opposed to all-night services but we want them introduced in a fair and sensible way which rewards staff for their hard work and the contribution they make to the success of the London Underground.”
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Aslef said 1,771 of its members voted to strike (97.6 per cent), while 1,786 backed other forms of industrial action (98.7 per cent). Turnout was 81.3 per cent.
The votes and turnout were all well above new thresholds being planned by the Government for union strike ballots.
Steve Griffiths, LU’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We have been in discussions with the unions since February, and are still in the midst of negotiations.
“We recognise the hard and valuable work of our staff and want to give them a pay rise this year and next. We also want to minimise the impact of the Night Tube on our people, and compensate those it will affect most.
“But pay levels for our staff are already fair, and any increase must be sustainable.
“Londoners and businesses overwhelmingly back the night tube, and trying to block something that will transform our city, and create more jobs, is short sighted. We encourage Aslef to make themselves available to continue our talks at Acas.”
Two other unions - the RMT and TSSA - are also balloting their members for strikes, with the results due later in the month.