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London train drivers threaten to strike after Night Tube staff ‘axed’ – Unsafe for women

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After nearly a year and a half of suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Night Tube service is set to resume on November 27. However, staff have warned they could go on twenty-four-hour strikes from November 26 and December 18 on the Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines.

There will also be stoppages on the Central and Victoria lines between those dates.

Drivers argue that a massive layoff of workers dedicated to the overnight schedule will put in jeopardy the security of the passengers, especially women.

Mick Lynch, the Rail, Maritime, and Transport union (RMT) general secretary, said in a statement: “No one has worked harder to ensure a safe environment for women on London Underground than the RMT.

“While Tube bosses have axed staff and left stations routinely unstaffed, with all of the obvious risks, we have campaigned relentlessly for the front line, the physical presence of visible staff on stations and platforms.

“We are now being repaid by the imposition of working arrangements that would wreck the work-life balance of our members.

“All of this was avoidable if the Tube management hadn’t axed dedicated Night Tube staff and perfectly workable arrangements in order to cut staffing numbers and costs.

“It’s that action which has led us to make today’s announcement.

“RMT supports the reintroduction of the Night Tube but we know full well that prior to its suspension during the pandemic it was a magnet for violent, abusive and anti-social behaviour.

“We warned months ago that slashing 200 Night Tube train driver positions would create a staffing nightmare and LU needs to start facing up to that reality.

“The union remains available for talks.”

Nick Dent, director of London Underground Customer Operations, said: “We are disappointed that the RMT is threatening London with this unnecessary action.

“The positive changes to Tube driver rosters have provided greater flexibility for drivers as well as permanent work and job certainty, something welcomed by all other unions.

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“We have been meeting with the RMT for a number of months through Acas to try and resolve their issues and we remain open to talking further.”

The strikes could be an opportunity for Uber which has recently increased its London prices by 10 percent in an effort to attract more drivers.

An Uber spokesperson said: “We know people rely on Uber to book a safe trip around London and this small fare increase will help reduce wait times.

“As always riders will get a fair estimate before booking their journey.”

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