London Underground attacks absurd strike calls

10 January 2016

In response to calls for strike action by the ASLEF Union, Steve Griffiths, Chief Operating Officer for London Underground, said:

`These latest threats to London show that the ASLEF leadership is trying everything to stop the Night Tube - a service which will mean easier night-time journeys for our customers, a boost to the economy of £360m, and the creation of around 700 new jobs at London Underground.

`Our four year pay offer is extremely fair. As a result of hiring new drivers, who will be on permanent, part-time contracts with the same rates of pay and the same benefits as existing drivers, we've made absolute guarantees that no current driver will have to work the Night Tube unless they want to. This total protection of work-life balance is precisely what ASLEF leaders asked for, so it is astonishing that they are now once again threatening strike action.

`The truth is that they are making excessive demands for more money, fewer hours and a four day week and expect fare and tax payers to pick up the bill. That is the real reason they plan to disrupt Londoners. No employer could possibly meet such demands and strike action will change nothing. There is no more money."

`We have held numerous meetings with the Unions since October 2014, including meetings held at our instigation with the conciliation service ACAS. We continue to offer to work with the trade union leadership to reach a realistic and affordable resolution to this dispute to deliver the Night Tube for customers and a fair and sustainable pay settlement for our staff.'

Notes to Editors
  • The recruitment of new part-time drivers does not impact our existing agreements with the unions.
  • The roles were open to both internal and external candidates, and we informed the union leaderships in November 2015 of our intention to recruit part-time drivers.
  • Hiring them will mean that no current driver will have to work the Night Tube unless they choose to and there will be no impact on the rosters of existing drivers.
  • We have received over 6,000 applications for these roles.
  • The four year pay offer consists of:
    ◦Year 1 would remain at an average of 2%;
    ◦Years 2 and 3 would remain at RPI or 1%, whichever is greater;
    ◦Year 4 would be RPI plus 0.25%.
    ◦We will also offer a £500 bonus for all staff on Night Tube lines.
  • TfL will not be changing any existing terms and conditions through the delivery of the Night Tube.
  • The Night Tube will cut night-time journeys by an average of 20 minutes, with some cut by more than an hour. It will also play a vital role in opening up London's night-time economy, supporting almost 2,000 permanent jobs and boosting the economy by £360m.
  • Demand for a 24-hour Tube service is clear - late night Tube use has increased at double the rate of day-time trips and night bus usage has risen by 173% since 2000. There are already over half a million users of the Tube after 22:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.