Southwark commuters were plunged into chaos on Friday (November 26), when Tube drivers went on strike over work schedules.
The RMT union has called the strike on the Jubilee, Northern, Victoria and Central lines because of the reintroduction of the Night Tube on certain lines, which organisers say would destroy drivers’ work-life balance.
Despite last-ditch talks, the strike went ahead on Friday, continuing on different days until December 18. The Jubilee and Northern lines are only set to be affected by strikes on Friday and December 18.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “This strike is about the ripping apart of popular and family friendly agreements that helped make the original Night Tube such a success.
“Instead the company want to cut costs and lump all drivers into a pool where they can be kicked from pillar to post at the behest of the management.”
TfL said that it was “hugely disappointed” by the threat of industrial action.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said ahead of the strike: “The unnecessary strike action threatened by RMT would delay many Londoners having another option to travel home safely at night and would hold our city back at a time when our culture and hospitality sectors have been devastated by the pandemic.”
Nick Dent, director of London Underground customer operations, said: ‘The RMT’s planned strike action is needless and it will threaten London’s recovery from the pandemic, despite no job losses and more flexibility and job certainty for drivers…
“If the RMT refuses to engage with us and carries out its unnecessary action, which is timed to cause maximum disruption for our customers looking to enjoy London during the festive season, Londoners are advised to check before they travel on days of planned strike action.”
A spokesperson for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) said: “We’re in touch with the sides involved in the London Underground dispute and our services remain available.”