London Underground (LU) drivers are expected to suspend their planned strike action across January and February after "good progress" was made in talks with the network's managers. Aslef's negotiators, who represent a majority of the operators on the Underground, will recommend the move to the union's executive committee.
"The determination of our members brought London Underground management back to the table. We have dragged them kicking and screaming into the 21st century with an agreement to deliver modern, flexible working patterns for our members and an above inflation pay rise. This demonstrates just what strong, progressive trade unions can deliver in Britain today," said Finn Brennan, an Aslef organiser.
An Aslef source told IBTimes UK that the executive's decision will be announced on the afternoon of 21 January. The move will come after Unite, which represents more than 500 engineers and maintenance staff on the Underground, suspended its planned industrial action over pay and work conditions relating to the Night Tube. But the TSSA has backed the walkout, with the RMT still planning to strike.
The ongoing dispute has meant that the Night Tube's launch date was been pushed back from September 2015. Steve Griffiths, the chief operating officer of LU, told IBTimes UK that the new service will roll-out in 2016 but he failed to provide a specific date.
The deal would see Night Tube workers given:
- Year 1 - averaged 2% salary rise
- Year 2 - either Retail Price Index (RPI)-linked hikes or a 1% salary rise (whichever is higher)
- Year 3 - either RPI-linked hikes or a 1% salary rise (whichever is higher)
- Year 4 - RPI inflation-linked pay hike plus 0.25%.
The Underground boss said the company had started to recruit 180 part-time drivers specifically to work on the new service, which will initially run across four major lines over the weekend.
"As we move down those [recruitment] paths, more certainty will build up against when Night Tube will be introduced," Griffiths explained. "We will announce that when we are ready and once we have completed the recruitment and training."
RMT strike dates
- Fleet grades not to book on for any shifts between 18.30 hours on 26 January 2016 and 18.29 hours 27 January 2016. All other grades not to book on between 21.00 hours on 26 January 2016 and 20.59 hours on 27 January 2016.
- Fleet grades not to book on for any shifts between 18.30 hours on 15 February 2016 and 18.29 hours on 16 February 2016. All other grades not to book on between 21.00 hours on 15 February 2016 and 20.59 hours on 16 February 2016.
- Fleet grades not to book on for any shifts between 18.30 hours on 17 February 2016 and 18.29 hours on 18 February 2016. All other grades not to book on between 21.00 hours on 17 February 2016 and 20.59 hours on 18 February 2016.
Every job matters/Fit for the future station job cuts programme
- All station staff grades to take a week of action from the imposition of the rosters and new operating model on Sunday 7 February through to Saturday 13 February – the nature of that industrial action to be confirmed in due course.