Longest ever Underground strike set to plunge commuters into misery in Night Tube row

23 December 2021, 15:16 | Updated: 23 December 2021, 15:21

The Night Tube has had a troubled return
The Night Tube has had a troubled return. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A London Underground union is planning its longest strike action yet over anger at the Night Tube plans.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The capital's commuters are set to face disruption from the start of 2022 through to June because of a dispute over driver scheduling.

The RMT Union said Transport for London's (TfL) plans would "wreck the work life balance of drivers" while TfL said Night Tube drivers would only work four weekends a year.

The plans will see RMT members strike from January 7 on the Central and Victoria lines, which were previously announced as the first to have the Night Tube return. The service is meant to operate on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Read more: Christmas travel explainer: Latest on roads, rail and air as millions set for festive getaway

The union said members will not book on for duties after 8.30pm on Fridays until 8am on Saturdays, and would do the same from 8.30pm on Saturdays until 8am on Sundays.

The RMT added that it could broaden action to other lines if the London Underground did not respond.

General Secretary Mick Lynch said: "If London Underground and the Mayor thought this fight for progressive and family friendly working practices was going away they need to think again.

"Our members have been reballoted and have delivered a solid mandate for action ‎and it's the failure of LU and Sadiq Khan to address the grievances at the heart of the dispute that leaves us no option but to confirm the programme of action today.

"RMT has repeatedly put forward cost neutral proposals that would repair the damage unleashed by deleting 200 driver posts and which would dig LU out of this mess. They have ignored us and that approach will have severe consequences for Londoners in the New Year.

"We remain available for further talks."

Nick Dent, Director of Customer Operations at London Underground, said: "We're disappointed that the RMT is continuing to push for strike action that would cause unnecessary disruption at a time when our customers need us most.

"We urge the RMT to join us for talks so we can work together to resolve this dispute."

TfL said no Tube driver has been made to change their role if they did not want to.

It said changes to the workforce schedule would see drivers on the late service's underground lines work up to four Night Tube weekends a year.

It added that changes to rostering drivers were agreed with all other unions in May 2021.

December also saw disruption over the roster dispute.