London facing travel misery as unions hit out over Night Tube service with 24-hour strike

RMT general secretary Mick Cash has a long list of complaints
Londoners face the threat of a summer of travel chaos as unions fight a long list of industrial grievances.

London Underground drivers belonging to the Aslef union have voted for a 24-hour strike from 8 July over the introduction of a new Night Tube service at weekends.

Around 80 per cent of drivers belong to the union and Aslef said 97.6 per cent of members – 1,771 – had voted in favour of striking over the new service, due to be introduced in September.

However the number of staff involved in strikes – and the amount of industrial action taken – could soar if members of the giant RMT union protest all of their complaints too.

The RMT said yesterday it is balloting its 10,000 members and votes will be cast by 30 June. It is objecting to issues such as pay and night running of tubes, the threat to station staff jobs, the employment of agency staff and changes to door alarm and safety check procedures on the Jubilee Line.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The industrial relations situation on the tube has sunk to an almost unprecedented low with all four unions united and balloting for action.”

Steve Griffiths, London Underground’s chief operating officer said yesterday it was “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... But pay levels for our staff are already fair, and any increase must be sustainable.

Industrial relations expert Professor Richard Hyman, of the London School of Economics, said he would not be surprised to see more strikes this summer.

“Employers think they’ve got the upper hand but there are some places where unions have a lot of resources.”

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