One of the unions representing Tube drivers who plan to strike next week has accused London mayor Boris Johnson of "engineering" the dispute and "playing politics" with the matter in the latest shot fired between the two warring sides.
Tube workers will strike for 24 hours on 5 August over working hours on the soon-to-launch Night Tube. The strike will bring the Tube network to a standstill for the second time in a month and cause misery for commuters.
TSSA union boss Manuel Cortes said today: "This dispute is being engineered by the mayor from City Hall. He has tied the hands of his negotiating team who are unable to make a new offer without his say so."
"By allowing next week's strike to go ahead, he will have an ideal excuse for delaying the start of the Night Tube. He will also increase his standing with the Tory right ahead of their conference in October by claiming he is taking on the rail unions.
"Londoners deserve better than a mayor who is playing politics with a Tube service which should be safe for both the staff and the travelling public."
Responding to the TSSA, a spokesperson for the mayor said: “The Mayor believes that the offer that is on the table from London Underground is a very fair one and he urges meaningful dialogue on it to continue. He repeats his call for the unions to call off this unnecessary strike.”
It's the latest pop at City Hall by unions, after RMT accused London of Underground (LU) of breaching safety earlier this week – claims which Tube bosses rejected. The union said drivers will not take out trains which they claim have not had proper safety checks. LU responded by sending home drivers who refused to take out trains
Talks between the two sides to end the dispute last week broke down, but have since resumed.