London Underground hit by toilet break strike


The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has confirmed that a 24-hour strike by drivers on two London Underground lines will go ahead from this evening (Thursday) in a dispute that is partly about toilet breaks.

The union said the strike would begin from 9.30pm, despite talks at ACAS yesterday.

The strike will affect the Hammersmith and City and Circle lines

In a statement, the RMT said ‘The dispute is over heavy handed and aggressive management, including putting staff toilet breaks on a stop watch, and a flagrant disregard for agreed policies and procedures.’

Steve White, London Underground operations director, said: 'We completely understand that sometimes drivers need to take a break during their driving duties to go to the toilet.

'But it has become clear that a minority are taking breaks of an hour or more and calling them toilet breaks. This has a direct impact on customers, with some trains being cancelled, and also on their fellow drivers who are having to cover for them.’

He added: 'The suggestion that we are timing toilet breaks and asking intrusive questions is absolutely not true. That would be neither dignified nor reasonable.’

Transport for London said the strike will mean:

  • No Hammersmith & City line service and a very limited service on the Circle line from around 21:00 Thursday and all day Friday
  • Circle line services will be much less frequent than usual and extremely busy, especially at peak times, and may be subject to short notice cancellations.

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