The Wandsworth Times

The Wandsworth Times

Last-ditch talks to avoid four-day August Tube strike over pay

Last-ditch talks to avoid four-day August Tube strike over pay

Last-ditch talks are to be held in a bid to avert strikes by London Underground drivers which threaten travel disruption as more people return to work following the easing of Covid restrictions. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) are set to stage a series of 24-hour walkouts, starting on August 3, in protest at plans to scrap the pay grade of Night Tube drivers. Talks will be held on Friday at the conciliation service Acas, said the RMT. Strikes are planned from noon on August 3, 5, 24 and 26. North Greenwich station RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “RMT has made serious proposals and a resolution to the dispute is available through discussion and we will be attending Friday’s talks with the intention of making progress along those lines. “LU management need to come back to the table in the same constructive frame of mind and I trust that they will.” Transport for London (TfL) advised travellers that the planned strikes will cause “severe disruption” across the Tube network if they go ahead. The action would mean all Tube lines would run a significantly reduced service at some times and would not run at others, with people urged to complete their journeys by 1pm on the first two strike days next week. TfL said London Underground has made changes to driver rosters to preserve a regular Tube service, adding that an agreement has been reached with the other recognised unions. Richard Jones, head of network operations for London Underground, said: “The changes to how we roster our drivers to continue to provide a regular Tube service and create more flexibility for our staff have not resulted in any job losses. “Our drivers have been vital in keeping the Tube running during the pandemic, ensuring that key workers could move around the city during the lockdowns and helping fuel London’s recovery in more recent weeks. “This new arrangement means that all drivers have been given the opportunity for full-time work and long-term job certainty, while Londoners can continue to rely on the regularity of Tube services. “These changes will allow us to operate both day-to-day Tube services and the Night Tube more efficiently. "It is extremely disappointing that the RMT has decided to announce strike action. "I urge them to withdraw this action and to return to discussions with us to avoid this unnecessary disruption to Londoners going about their daily lives.” London Underground is also dealing with short-term, short-notice absences caused by Covid-related self-isolation and will issue more detailed travel advice next week. Have you got a story for us? You can contact us here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news. Sign up to our newsletters to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

Read more