London Underground (LU) has today set out the services it intends to operate on the Tube network on Boxing day, Sunday 26th December despite the strike called by the leadership of the ASLEF union.
The completely unnecessary strike action is likely to cause significant disruption, but LU is working to ensure as many services as possible will operate. London's 700 bus routes and some river services will be in operation.
ASLEF walked out of talks at the conciliation service ACAS, unilaterally tearing up a long-standing agreement clearly covering all Bank holidays and demanding triple pay and a day off in lieu for drivers who are scheduled to work on Boxing Day. An offer from LU to reduce the number of drivers rostered to work on Boxing Day was flatly rejected by the union leadership, who are clearly determined to strike and disrupt Londoners' Christmas holidays.
ASLEF, along with all Tube unions, signed up to an agreement, which gave all LU staff increased pay and 6.8 weeks of holidays on the understanding that this involved working some public holidays including Boxing day. This has now been torn up by ASLEF.
LU Managing Director, Mike Brown said: "This strike threat is beyond belief. The ASLEF leadership is tearing up long-standing agreements that cover pay and annual leave and demanding even more - triple time and another day off. Londoners will simply be stunned at such a claim.
"By holding Londoners to ransom in this way they are showing complete disdain for all who want to visit family and friends or hunt a good bargain during what is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.
"We have made every effort to resolve this issue including peace talks at ACAS where we offered to reduce the number of drivers rostered on Boxing Day, but to no avail.
"We will be running as many Tube services as possible on Boxing Day, as well as London's 700 bus routes and some river services. We are also discussing with West End retailers how we can support more pedestrian VIP events in the near future, to encourage more shoppers to the West End.
"I urge all ASLEF members booked to work on boxing day to ignore this unnecessary strike call and report for work."
Although there will be services on all lines that were scheduled to operate, some may have only a limited service and some sections may be closed. Customers are urged to check before they travel at www.tfl.gov.uk.
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