Commuters have been warned of a “major disruption” following a 24-hour Tube strike on Friday (November 26). If an agreement hasn’t been made, a second strike is expected on Saturday evening.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said its members were solidly supporting the walkout at 04:30 GMT. Picket lines were mounted outside some Tube stations earlier this morning. Subsequently, people were turning to other options for travel, with both Uber and Bolt prices surging as a result.
Speaking on LBC, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urged TfL and the RMT to sort out the dispute. “I absolutely appeal to the unions to not disrupt everyone’s lives,” he said. “We have had enough disruption through coronavirus.”
“This is a dispute between TfL, the workers there, and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, so I don’t have a direct role in it.
On Friday, the Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines will be disrupted.
Another strike will be held on Saturday evening on the Central and Victoria lines, hitting plans to restart the Night Tube this weekend after being suspended last year because of the pandemic.
Why are workers striking?
Workers were prompted to take action following a dispute against TfL’s plans to run the Night Tube.
RMT’s General Secretary Mick Lynch said it would “wreck the work-life balance of drivers.”
What have people said?
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The Tube strike action this morning is rock solid in all depots and the widespread impact on services is solely down to management failure to recognise and address the anger of their staff at the imposition of damaging and unacceptable working practices.
“This action was wholly avoidable if LU bosses hadn’t attempted to bulldoze through arrangements that abolished the Night Tube driver grade, lumping everyone into a central pool where they can be shunted about at will in a drive to cut costs.
“Our members have spoken this morning and it’s time for London Underground to start listening.
“This is just the start of a programme of action and the Mayor and his officials need to recognise our determination to defend progressive and family-friendly working practices. We remain available for talks.”
Nick Dent, director of London Underground customer operations, said: “At such a pivotal time for the capital’s recovery, we are hugely disappointed that the RMT is threatening London with this unnecessary action.
“By making changes to Tube driver rosters we have provided greater flexibility for drivers as well as permanent work and job security, something welcomed by all other unions.”