Planned Tube strikes to cause severe disruption, warns TfL

19 August 2021, 15:57 | Updated: 19 August 2021, 16:28

London Underground drivers are striking next week
London Underground drivers are striking next week. Picture: Alamy

By Elizabeth Haigh

Transport for London has warned that if planned strikes by London Underground drivers go ahead, they will cause severe travel disruption.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union are due to walk out in a dispute over the pay grade of Night Tube drivers.

The strikes are planned to run from noon on August 24 for 24 hours and noon on August 26 for another 24 hours.

TfL has warned that this would result in a significantly reduced service on all Tube lines for the majority of the week.

The dispute is over the decision to scrap the separate pay grade for Night Tube drivers, which the RMT says will destroy the work/life balance of 3,000 London Underground drivers.

A strike planned for earlier in August was called off after progress was made in talks between the union and London Underground. Further discussions will take place on August 20.

READ MORE: Tube strikes: Last ditch talks as TfL warns of 'severe disruption'

READ MORE: London travel: Talks ongoing as planned Tube strikes cancelled

Nick Dent, director of customer operations for London Underground, said: "We have made changes to the way we roster drivers to help us provide a regular Tube service.

"They have also helped to create more flexibility for many of our drivers and have resulted in no job losses.

"We have been able to return the Waterloo & City line to service as a result of these changes, and they will help as we continue to work on fully restoring other parts of the Tube service.

"Our drivers have been vital in keeping the Tube running during the pandemic, ensuring that key workers could move around the city during the lockdowns and helping fuel London's recovery in more recent weeks.

"This new arrangement means that all drivers have been given the opportunity for full-time work and long-term job certainty, while Londoners can continue to rely on the regularity of Tube services.

"I urge the RMT to withdraw this action and to continue engaging with the constructive discussions we have been having in recent weeks so that we can avoid this unnecessary disruption to Londoners going about their daily lives."

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "Our planned action remains on as scheduled.

"We have further talks at Acas with London Underground tomorrow and we will go into those negotiations in a positive frame of mind, seeking an agreement that protects both jobs and work/life balance for our members."