Strikes on two of London Underground’s Night Tube lines are continuing, with the RMT union and Transport for London (TfL), unable even to agree on what they are currently arguing about.
On Friday the union said the next phase of strike action would go ahead after Underground bosses ‘blocked an attempt by RMT negotiators to make progress in ACAS talks this week’.
A sign outside Victoria rail and tube stations
The RMT claimed that its representatives ‘had made it clear that they would be in a position to recommend suspension of the action…if London Underground agreed a new set of reasonable and realistic union proposals’. It added: ‘That approach was rejected out of hand.’
General secretary Mick Lynch said: ‘We are angry and frustrated that once again a proposal from our negotiators that would pave the way to lifting the current action has been knocked back by Tube chiefs.
'Our proposal would deal with the central issue at the heart of this dispute – work life balance.
‘We are not backing down, the action goes ahead and with the Government on the point of lifting some COVID restrictions it’s down to LU to start negotiating seriously.’
Strike action on the Night Tube is due to continue on the Central and Victoria Lines until June. RMT members have been instructed not to book on for any duties commencing from 20:30 on any Friday until 04.29 the next day or any duties commencing from 20:30 on any Saturday until 04.29 the next day.
TfL denied that the RMT had tabled new proposals.
A spokesperson said: ‘We remain open to talks with the RMT, in the hope this strike action can be called off. We entered into talks last week in good faith, but no new proposals were made, and instead it was again suggested we operate our Night Tube services on a strictly volunteer basis, which clearly wasn’t workable.
‘Since changes to our rosters were implemented, they’ve been a positive change for the organisation and our staff, helping us to keep London moving, become a fairer place to work and bringing back Night Tube.’
TfL said that it expects a good service on the Victoria line (including Night Tube) on Fridays and Saturdays and what it described as a ‘regular service’ of at least two trains per hour through central London on the Central line.
Nevertheless it advised passengers using the Victoria or Central lines on a Friday or Saturday between 19:00 and 06:00 the next morning to check before travelling.