RMT and TSSA workers vote to strike over Night Tube

 
Catherine Neilan
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Workers have voted to strike over the Night Tube (Source: Getty)
Workers for transport unions RMT and TSSA have voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of strike action over the Night Tube.
Nearly 92 per cent of members voted in favour of strike action over both London Underground pay and the transition to running the Tube night. Some 96.5 per cent voted for action short of a strike.
On the same ballot, 91.8 per cent of workers voted to strike over threats to jobs, while nearly 95 per cent voted in favour of action short of a strike. The union did not say what the voter turnout was.
There is no word yet on when the strike will take place, however the Night Tube is expected to start in September.
The union argues that working conditions, pay, jobs and safety are “facing an almost unprecedented assault”.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash dubbed the Night Tube “the mayor's vanity project”.
He added: “Each of the ballots has delivered an overwhelming mandate for action which will now be considered by the unions executive and a further statement will be issued by the union later.
“It is simply outrageous that management, in a mad dash to bulldoze through the night running stunt, have smashed apart long-term agreements and have resorted to trying to bully staff into accepting roster changes at a local level and the message from RMT and our sister unions is clear – we are not having it.
“These changes would also lock our members into a culture of anti-social hours and appalling working conditions that would rip apart work/life balance whilst at the same time they are being hit with pay proposals that would undermine their standard of living."
London Underground’s chief operating officer Steve Griffiths countered him, saying: “Londoners and businesses overwhelmingly back the Night Tube. It will make life easier for everyone, cut journey times, create jobs and boost the economy.
“Most of our staff will not be affected by the new services at all because it affects only five of 11 lines. Some staff will actually work fewer nights than they do now because we have hired 137 more train operators specifically for the Night Tube.
“The train staff who will be affected are being asked to work around an additional seven nights each year on average, with no increase in their total current hours. No-one is being asked to work more hours.
“In return, we are offering a realistic pay increase this year and next, as well as an additional payment for Night Tube working. We are ready to negotiate, but any increase must be sustainable and fair. I urge the trade unions to keep talking to us to achieve a settlement.”

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