Last minute discussions to avert a strike by London Underground workers have failed and a scheduled strike is all set to go ahead. The rail workers’ unions have rejected an offer from the network’s management on shiftwork when a planned switch to 24-hour operations comes into effect next month.
The strike is scheduled to start at 21:30 tomorrow evening and Transport for London (TfL) says commuters and travellers should try to get to their destinations before 18:30. The statement says that people should try and avoid travelling in London during the morning and evening rush hour periods on Thursday if at all possible.
TfL says it will lay on extra buses and river ferries to alleviate the crippling effects of the Tube strike. It noted the strike will not impact on Docklands Light Railway or overground trains and these should be running according to schedule.
London Underground operations officer Steve Griffiths said travellers needed to check for updates on the TfL webpages. London Underground boss Nick Brown said the unions were to blame for creating the impasse over 24 work rotas.
The unions say the London Underground proposals on work rosters contain no solid commitments on giving drivers and support staff a reasonable balance between their work and personal lives. Representatives say they are not against 24-hour operations per se, but want firm guarantees over how many night shifts staff will be required to work at weekends.
Explaining the situation, ASLEF’s London organiser Finn Brennan said all drivers had been consulted. He claimed London Underground’s insistence on issuing rotas this week so that Tube trains would start running all night from 12 September had created the stalemate.