A PLANNED 24-hour strike on London Underground on Friday will reduce the frequency of trains on the District Line, Transport for London has warned.
The walkout affects ASLEF drivers, and has been called as the result of London Underground’s alleged ‘failure to follow agreed policies and procedures’ when a recently qualified driver was apparently involved in at least one SPAD.
ASLEF’s Underground organiser Finn Brennan said: “We have repeatedly offered to meet to discuss this dispute but, instead of getting around the table, they have sent a stream of letters threatening legal action to try to prevent our members from exercising their democratic right to strike.
“ASLEF members at Acton voted by 98 per cent in favour of strike action. We expect another big ‘Yes’ vote in our ballot of members at Earl’s Court due this week. But, instead of recognising the concerns of our members and reps, LU management are refusing to acknowledge that they have failed to follow their own procedures, threatened a disciplinary hearing to make a driver “agree” to be redeployed and now refuse to talk to this union.
“When management are intent on getting their way by threats and intimidation then we need to take a strong stand.”
However, TfL said its action had been in line with safety policies. London Underground director of network operations Nigel Holness said: "The safety of our customers and our staff is our top priority. In this case, a driver was offered an alternative role on our stations following a number of safety incidents in their first few months of driving. With so many incidents in a short space of time, despite several weeks of training and assistance, it was simply not safe for this employee to continue in a role as a driver.
"The situation is not as the union has described as no disciplinary action has been taken against the employee and our action is in line with the safety policies agreed with our trade unions. I apologise to customers for the disruption this completely unnecessary strike will cause and call on the unions to continue working with us to ensure the safety of our customers and staff."
Friday’s strike is expected to reduce the number of trains on the District Line’s various branches, but a normal service of Circle Line trains will be running in central London.