DRIVERS on London Underground are set to walk out for 24 hours on 5 October in a dispute over working hours. Widespread disruption to services seems inevitable if the strike goes ahead.
A vote by ASLEF members, in which just over half the workforce took part, produced a majority in favour of a strike by eight votes to one.
Finn Brennan, the union’s organiser on London Underground, said the dispute had been caused by ‘the failure of LU to deliver on the commitments they made to improve work life balance as part of the 2015 pay settlement’.
He continued: “As part of the settlement of the dispute over the introduction of Night Tube, LU agreed to introduce a mechanism to allow drivers to reduce the number of shifts they work, on a pro-rata basis, and ‘new ways of working’ to reduce the percentage of weekend shifts worked by July this year. They have repeatedly refused to make any detailed proposals to do so.
“For more than 18 months management have prevaricated, stalled and delayed. Deadlines have repeatedly been missed and promises broken while our detailed proposals to resolve these issues have been ignored.
“Our members’ patience has finally been exhausted. As always, we are ready to meet at any time to try to find a solution, but it is long past time that LU management started to act to resolve this long running dispute.”
London Underground responded that it remains committed to ‘to ensuring that our employees are able to maintain a good balance between their work and personal lives’.
Director of network operations Nigel Holness added: “We have been working closely with the unions to explore new ways to achieve this. I encourage ASLEF to continue working with us constructively rather than moving towards unnecessary strike action.”