The RMT has remarkably now decided to support the beginning of services on the Night Tube, claiming its workers deserve the "praise and the credit".
The union, which has disputed the implementation of the Night Tube and voted for strike action, has now changed tact and started to back the commencement of services, with the caveat that staff are not undervalued.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT supports the introduction of the Night Tube and ever since the idea was first floated our members have fought tirelessly to make sure that it is done properly and that the huge staffing issues it throws up have not been ignored.
The truth is that it is not politicians and their top officials who will deliver a Night Tube for London it is the cleaners, station staff, drivers, engineers and all the other grades working anti-social hours who will be transforming London into a 24 hour City and they deserve all the praise and the credit.
RMT will be maintaining a policy of ‘extreme vigilance’ with our reps monitoring issues like safety, security and the impact on staff of running services round the clock. The union will also continue to resist any attempts to deliver Night Tube on the cheap. Huge logistical challenges in areas like safety, maintenance and engineering will remain under close scrutiny by the union.
RMT is also conscious of a range of problems with the rolling out of the second tranche of Night Tube services and it is essential that those issues are dealt with through the negotiating machinery and that procedures aren’t dodged in order to hit arbitrary deadlines.
Night Tube is a massive step for London at a time of surging demand for transport services. It must not be compromised by under-valuing the staff charged with delivering the service or by the government cuts that are being lined up for the TfL budget.
After months of umm-ing and ahh-ing, London’s long-awaited Night Tube services launch is this Friday 19 August (hurrah).
Central Line trains are expected to run every 10 minutes between White City and Leytonstone, and approximately every 20 minutes between Ealing Broadway and White City, and Leytonstone and Loughton/ Hainault.
There will be no Night Tube services between North Acton and West Ruislip, Loughton and Epping, or Woodford and Hainault.
Meanwhile, the Victoria Line will run every 10 minutes..