Progress made in talks but dispute not fully resolved
Industrial action by London Underground staff over the introduction of Night Tube services has been called off at the last minute following ‘intensive discussions’ between LU and trade unions at conciliation service ACAS.
The RMT, TSSA and Unite unions had called two 24-hour strikes, beginning on the evenings of Tuesday 25 and Thursday 27 August. The disagreement has centred on changes to working conditions for LU staff following the planned introduction of 24-hour services on five lines on Friday and Saturday nights from 12 September, along with the introduction of new staff rosters. This would have been the third set of strikes by unions in relation to the dispute. Previous strikes also involved drivers union ASLEF, which elected at an early stage not to join the proposed action while it engaged in further discussions with LU.
The RMT says that ‘a position has been reached that allows us to suspend the industrial action’, with the suspension also covering action short of a strike, including an overtime ban which has been in place since July. Unite described the move as ‘a gesture of goodwill following progress in talks’ while the TSSA says dispute talks ‘have at last begun to gain momentum’, with a ‘constructive dialogue’ now taking place between LU and unions.
However, all three unions have emphasised that the dispute has not been fully resolved, and the RMT has said that further action may be necessary, and that this would take place between Tuesday 8 and Thursday 10 September. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash added: ‘I have advised LUL that any movement towards the implementation of Night Tube, including running any test trains for Night Tube, will lead to us calling further industrial action without delay. Likewise, if our reasonable and just demands to protect the jobs and terms and conditions of Station Staff are not met, this will also lead to us calling further industrial action without delay.’