Tube drivers to strike

Submitted by cathy n on 21 September, 2017 - 1:31 Author: Ollie Moore

London Underground drivers in the Aslef union will strike on 5 October. 

The dispute is a hangover from LU’s 2015 pay settlement with unions, which included a commitment to explore alternative working arrangements aimed at improving work/life balance. As part of this, London Underground ran a voluntary trial of a “four-day week” model, which involved the compression of drivers’ existing hours into four days, on the Jubilee Line. 

That trial has now ended, and Aslef say they want the model rolled out to the rest of the network. Their ballot for strikes returned a 88% majority for strikes, and a 93% majority for action short of strikes, on a 53% turnout. 

The RMT union, which represents a large majority across all grades of Tube workers, but a narrow minority of drivers, has raised concerns about the model. The Jubilee Line trial involved altering drivers’ terms and conditions to extend the maximum time they could spend driving, and RMT has warned that, if it is rolled out, it will open the door to further attacks on terms and conditions. RMT has argued for a four-day, 32-hour week, and wants a referendum of all drivers before the existing trial is extended. 

RMT is also in dispute with LU over work/life balance issues for drivers.