London's Tube drivers have called for a "quick deal" from London Underground (LU) over the new Night Tube service after talks between the parties adjourned on 3 September. A spokesman for Aslef told IBTimes UK that the union's negotiators wanted to "sit down and do a deal as quickly as possible" with management.
But the spokesman accused Underground bosses of "dragging their heels" after the unions – including the RMT, TSSA and Unite – and LU agreed to suspend negotiations at mitigation service Acas until the week starting 14 September. Aslef, which represents the majority of drivers on the network, wants to get negotiations rolling again after the capital was spared strikes on 8 and 10 September from the RMT, TSSA and Unite.
The moderate union has been in "positive" negotiations with management throughout the dispute and sources on both sides have told IBTimes UK that progress has been made in their argument over work rosters for Night Tube drivers.
But LU has insisted that they are open to talks at "any time" and claimed it was the Tube unions who requested the break in talks. Steve Griffiths, the chief operating officer of LU, said: "We have been in constructive talks at Acas and we have now agreed to the unions' request for time to consider and review what has been discussed so far. We remain available for further talks at any time."
Talks took a constructive turn after LU announced it had dropped its 12 September start date for the Night Tube and said the service would launch in the autumn. But a union source close to the talks told IBTimes UK on 1 September that he doubted the new service would roll out in autumn and it would be "unlikely" for the Night Tube to be running before Christmas.
But LU has maintained that it still aims to launch the service, which would see the Underground operating on major lines on Fridays and Saturdays, in autumn. "Our objective is to reach an agreement that ends this dispute and delivers the Night Tube for Londoners this autumn," Nick Brown, the managing director of LU, has said.