A tube strike is set to go ahead in August over proposals to scrap the Night Tube train driver’s pay grade after discussions broke down between the union and London Underground.
The changes would mean that instead of having a separate role for Night Tube train operators, all drivers would be expected to work a combination of normal and night shifts.
Strike action was first proposed earlier this month but the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, which represents tube drivers, has now confirmed it will go ahead next month.
The union has asked all drivers not to book into work after midday for 24 hours on four separate days, the August 3rd, 5th, 24th and the 26th.
The union says London Underground aims to axe the grade in a cash led move which will threaten the loss of 200 positions and destroy the work-life stability of 3,000 Tube drivers.
Strikes had been announced earlier this month but both parties had entered into negotiations through the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), to reach an agreement.
However, the union has said that these talks had been unsuccessful and so have confirmed the strike action will go ahead.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) General Secretary Mick Lynch said that the RMT was annoyed and frustrated at the Tube bosses’ unwillingness to engage in constructive talks through the officer of ACAS that could settle the argument.
He said that London Underground’s plans to rip up an agreement that protects 3,000 Tube driver’s work-life balance has created uproar in the depots amongst drivers and that this was a breach of trust by an out of touch management that abolishes the part-time jobs of workers, largely women, who rely on the flexibility and security they allow while they balance other commitments.
He said that it was an equality issue that the London Mayor should have been taking seriously and raising directly with his London Underground senior management and that the RMT had made serious proposals and a resolution to the dispute that was available through discussion.
And he said that the LU Management needed to come back to the table to circumvent the need for strike action and that the union remains available for serious and constructive discussions.
However, many people are working from home now, and this strike will have minimal impact.
In time, of course, they will have driverless trains and the technology is already in place, and we now have the capability and it appears to work perfectly in other nations, but then this will enable the government to rip up workers rights and decent salaries, and our government needs to realise this if they want the country to be prosperous, which clearly, they don’t.
Pilots can now fly in a storm and allow the autopilot to land the aircraft with a perfect touchdown, so, therefore, realising that we don’t need pilots and when driverless vehicles are mainstream we won’t need delivery drivers, so just what are they going to do with all the surplus labour?
This isn’t the time for another strike, particularly when we need this country up and running, but perhaps, it just means that this country is returning to normal.
However, a strike is sometimes the only way that the working class can fight against the oppression and tyranny of the capitalist elites, and why shouldn’t people that have to work unsociable hours be paid more money? It seems quite fair to me.