Unions walk out of talks risking Night Tube delivery

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ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and Unite union leaders have jeopardised the start of the Night Tube and delayed implementation of a fair and sustainable pay offer to London Underground (LU) staff by walking out of talks at ACAS today.

LU will now seek the views of staff across the organisation on the 2015 pay offer, the implementation of the Night Tube and its operation.

LU and the trade unions were very close to an agreement, but very late in the day the union leadership demanded the implementation of a four day week for train drivers. LU had already guaranteed to look at this on a trial basis at two locations. It would be financially reckless of LU to guarantee its full implementation now, without having first tested it and examined the full implications.

Steve Griffiths, Chief Operating Officer, London Underground, said: “We’ve made significant progress over the last few months.  Our offer has been reworked considerably from where we were when the trade unions balloted their members for strike action, which is why we now feel we must seek the views of our staff, as the unions haven’t.

“Not only are the unions at risk of depriving millions of customers of their Night Tube service, they are depriving employees of a very fair pay offer and longer term opportunities to improve work life balance even further.”

The Mayor and LU have repeatedly made clear that the introduction of the Night Tube would not be ‘at any cost’ to London’s fare and tax payers.

The Night Tube would mean 24-hour services at weekends on five lines, transforming night time journeys for millions of people.

Journey times would be cut by an average of 20 minutes, with some cut by more than an hour, and London’s night-time economy would be opened up to a host of new opportunities, with the Night Tube supporting around 2,000 permanent jobs and boosting the economy by £360m.

It would also bring much greater convenience to those who start work early in the morning or late at night. The service would be fully integrated with the existing Night Bus network and additional taxi ranks will also be available to help people with their onward journeys.

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