Thought a deal had finally been reached to launch Night Tube? Think again: the RMT union has confirmed that there's going to be a strike over the new 24-hour service – by maintenance and engineering workers.
The much-maligned service was finally given a launch date of 19 August yesterday following months of delays while drivers' unions negotiated with Transport for London (TfL) over salaries and hours.
But no sooner had the drivers given the service the green light, than more than 85 per cent of members of maintenance and engineering staff voted for a strike.
In a statement today RMT said the dispute was over pensions issues, saying TfL had "[refused] to discuss outstanding pensions issues until after the launch of the Night Tube Operation".
"There are also major unresolved issues over Night Tube staffing arrangements and a threat to undermine Performance Related Pay agreements through Tube Lines refusing to base budgets on the negotiated levels of Performance Related Pay."
But Transport for London added that the strikes won't affect the Central or Victoria lines, where the launch of the 24-hour service is still slated for 19 August.
“We have made the same fair and sustainable four-year pay offer for Tube Lines maintenance staff as has been made for staff employed by London Underground," said Steve Griffiths, London Undergroun'ds chief operating officer.
"Pension arrangements for Tube Lines maintenance staff have been the subject of separate ongoing discussions, and we agree that it's important that these talks resume as soon as possible so the dispute can be resolved."
General secretary Mick Cash added: “RMT members have now shown their anger at the way that Tube Lines have attempted to tie in attacks on pensions with the offer on pay and Night Tube. There are also major unresolved issues over the Tube Lines staffing arrangements for the Night Tube and over Performance Related Pay.
The inglorious history of the Night Tube
November 2013: Boris Johnson announces a 24-hour Night Tube will launch in 2015
March 2015: Unions demand higher pay and more days off in return for running a 24-hour service
June 2015: TfL unveils its Night Tube map showing services on the Victoria, Central, Jubilee and Northern lines
June 2015: Tube drivers vote overwhelmingly in favour of a strike over Night Tube
July 2015: The first set of Tube strikes take place
July 2015: Boris Johnson admits the Night Tube might miss its September launch date
October 2015: TfL unveils Night Tube signage