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London Underground staff strike in protest against Night Tube shifts
Five Tube lines will be severely affected this morning by strike action taken by London Underground (LU) workers.
Transport for London (TfL) said the Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines will be severely disrupted for 24 hours from 4.30am on Friday.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union are taking industrial action on a number of days in the run-up to Christmas.
The start of the industrial action coincides with the reintroduction of the Night Tube, which was suspended in March 2020 due to the lack of passengers and staff as a result of Covid social distancing regulations.
RMT members are also planning to strike on six other nights: this Sunday (28 November), and on Friday 3 December, Saturday 4, Friday 10, Saturday 11, and Friday 17.
The RMT has said that LU has abolished 200 Tube driver positions and has imposed “unacceptable and intolerable” new rotas on existing drivers to cover Night Tube services. The union says this would “wreck the work-life balance” of members.
The Night Tube has run on Fridays and Saturdays since August 2016. Last month, it was announced that the restarting of the Night Tube had been brought forward from April 2022.
It came after the public had demanded safer night-time transport for women after a number of attacks, rapes and murders in London, and businesses and politicians called for a boost for night-time industries.
Good morning and welcome to our live blog, where we will post updates throughout the day on the London Underground strike.
Why are Tube drivers striking? Here’s a quick recap
London Underground (LU) workers are now on strike from now, and services on the Tube will be severely affected on five major lines.
The industrial dispute is over new Tube drivers’ rotas that transport union RMT has slammed as “intolerable”.
LU is requiring drivers to work more shifts to cover weekends and nights after the restarting of the Night Tube.
The RMT has said LU has axed 200 driver positions and scrapped its previous agreement with drivers that had made the Night Tube “a success” – before the night-time services were suspended as a result of the Covid pandemic.
LU had said it was “disappointed” that RMT members were going to go on strike, and added it was open to further talks.
RMT said that Tube management claimed the union was refusing to engage in further discussions, which RMT regional organiser John Leach said on Thursday was “not true”.
More details about the strike here from Joe Sommerlad
London tube strike: Victoria, Central, Northern, Piccadilly and Jubilee line to face disruption tomorrow