It’s only been six months since our weekends have been free from the hassle of missing the last train home with the arrival of the long-awaited night tube, but already it’s facing its first strike action. The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, have ordered a strike ballot for its night tube drivers on the Central, Victoria, Northern, Jubilee and Piccadilly lines (so, all of the night tube lines). The result is due to be announced on March 14, meaning walkouts could start at the end of next month.
The union has ordered the ballot over a dispute involving working conditions, career progression and overtime pay. RMT leader Mick Cash said the night tube drivers' policy, which is different to that covering other drivers, was 'blatantly discriminatory', adding that 'night tube train operators have been prevented from moving into vacant full-time positions' and operators 'do not attract the overtime rate of pay until they exceed 35 hours in a week'.
RMT represent just under half of the night tube's 180 drivers. The others are represented by fellow union Aslef, which is also unhappy about the night tube agreement and announced last week that it would be balloting its own drivers over the same issues. Looks like we might have to prepare ourselves for trekking across London at 3am on the night bus again.
It's not just the night tube – there's going to be another tube strike on the Central line this week.