The RMT union is raining on Sadiq Khan’s re-election celebrations with threats of industrial action if Transport for London doesn’t back down over scrapping Night Tube jobs and merging roles with regular Tube drivers.
Transport for London, which is in a dire financial state after more than a year of Covid-19 lockdowns and remote working hit far revenue, want to merge Night Tube driver roles with day driver jobs.
The RMT union is having none of it and has threatened Londoners with industrial action.
Night Tube services were suspended at the beginning of the pandemic.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said:
“London Underground’s proposals to rip up an agreement that protects 3000 Tube drivers work life balance has caused uproar in the depots amongst drivers.
“This breach of trust by an out of touch management abolishes the part time jobs of workers – mainly women – who want them.
“This is the thanks that Tube drivers have been given for keeping the service running through the Covid pandemic.
“With some 200 jobs facing the axe we have been left with no other choice but to prepare the ground for industrial action.
London Underground, and Transport for London more generally, has been looking at ways to generate more cash and cut costs, after being bailed out by the UK Government several times during the pandemic.
Regardless of the attacks on Khan’s responsibility for the TfL finances from Conservative opponent Shaun Bailey, the incumbent Labour mayor beat Bailey decisively at the weekend.
Nick Dent, Director of Customer Operations for London Underground, said: “We’re bringing in changes to how we roster our drivers to continue to provide a regular Tube service and create more flexibility for our staff. These changes will not result in any job losses.
“Part-time drivers have been playing a vital role in keeping the Tube running during the pandemic, and giving them the option to become part of the wider driver workforce means that Londoners can continue to have certainty that a near-normal service will continue, while also giving drivers the opportunity for full-time work and long-term job certainty.
“We have engaged with our trade unions for some time on these changes, and have listened to their concerns. While we have been able to reach agreement with most of our trades unions, this has not been possible so far with the RMT. We are more than happy to discuss again with the RMT leadership the benefits of such a change to their members. An agreement with all of our unions would be preferable, but it is vital that we make these changes so that we can continue to operate the level of service that London needs as the city continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.”