TALKS between unions and London Underground (LU) resumed yesterday in a bid to resolve disputes over “rosters from hell” for staff on the proposed 24-hour weekend services.
The leaders of rail unions RMT, Unite, TSSA and Aslef met with LU managers and handed them a “position statement” after their members walked out for 24 hours last week and in July.
Station staff and Tube drivers are calling for a delay to the September 12 night Tube start date in order to amend taxing work schedules imposed by bosses.
The unions argue in the statement that employees should not work more anti-social night and weekend hours than they currently do because it would hurt their health, work-life balance and passenger safety.
RMT leader Mick Cash criticised Mayor of London and Transport for London chairman Boris Johnson for “refusing to get his hands dirty himself by talking to us.”
Mr Cash said that the mayor was rushing to promise the new service before agreeing terms with workers and that he and LU were sending out conflicting messages to the public.
“It would make more sense to suspend the introduction to allow for thorough negotiations around the unresolved issues,” said Mr Cash.
The planned work schedules are known by members at White City and Leytonstone Tube depots as the “rosters from hell.” More strikes could be in the pipeline, possibly for 48 hours at a time, unless all parties agree on a deal.
Mr Johnson has said he is “not fussed about the start date” but wants the 24-hour service to commence in the autumn, despite posters celebrating the September 12 already being put up around London.
But LU chief operating officer Steve Griffiths also declined to rule out a delay.