Managers rejected all our proposals, say unions

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, Rail, Transport (ITF), ASLEF, RMT, TSSA,

Tube trainRail unions have accused London Underground managements of wrecking plans to introduce the Night Tube.

The 24-hour service on the Jubilee, Victoria, Piccadilly, Central and Northern lines had been due to start last month but was delayed over a dispute about staff pay and conditions.

Unions say bosses have postponed the plans until the new year after rejecting union proposals.

ASLEF organiser Finn Brennan said: “We have made it clear to London Underground that we want to keep talking and develop a solution that delivers Night Tube while protecting and improving the work-life balance for our members.

“We have put forward a number of proposals to resolve this dispute in a way that is fair and benefits both sides. London Underground have rejected them all. Most disappointingly of all they have decided to blackmail their own employees by refusing to make a pay offer unless staff agree to worsen their working conditions.

“That is not something we are prepared to accept. The management of London Underground has completely mishandled these negotiations. They have wasted every opportunity for a settlement and seem to have been determined to provoke confrontation rather than resolution.’

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “We are in process of considering London Underground’s proposals but we are frustrated it’s taking so long to resolve all outstanding issues over the Night Tube.

“At this rate, it will be London’s next Mayor who will have to find a way forward. Boris should stop dithering, and immediately sort out holding face-to-face talks with all union leaders to get the Night Tube firmly back on the track.

“Londoners deserve better 21st century services, than a part time mayor in a full time audition for David Cameron’s job seems willing to give.”

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “This crisis management of the Night Tube could have been avoided if LU hadn’t chosen to try and railroad through imposed rosters and had stuck to the agreed negotiating framework from the off.

“No one wins from this situation – neither Londoners or tube staff. RMT supports the principle of a Night Tube with properly agreed reward and rosters and the union remains available for further constructive talks.

“RMT is frankly astounded that Boris Johnson has rung his officials from Japan and instructed them to kick the night tube into next year. RMT is seeking further urgent talks at the most senior level to get this process back on track.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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