Transport for London (TfL) has warned there will be disruption to Tube services in the coming weeks due to strikes, writes Alexandra Warren.
There will be disruption on the Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines both today and on Saturday, December 18.
Strikes will also cause problems for the re-introduction of Night Tube services on the Central and Victoria lines from tomorrow evening and on weekends throughout December.
TfL is warning customers that both lines are expected to be severely affected from 7pm onwards.
There will be little or no service from this time overnight on November 27 to 28, December 3 to 5, December 10 to 12 and December 17 to 18.
A row has broken out between TfL and Tube union the RMT over Night Tube staffing.
The RMT has called for strike action over what it describes as the imposition of unacceptable and intolerable demands on staff in advance of the Night Tube reopening.
The union claims that TfL has axed Night Tube staff to cut costs, meaning existing staff will have to cover night shifts, disrupting their work/life balance.
TfL has said that Night Tube drivers were offered the opportunity to join the full-time driver pool on a permanent basis.
It said no driver has lost their job or been forced to switch to full-time or part-time work if they did not want to.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “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, 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.”
Nick Dent, Director of London Underground Customer Operations, said: “At such a pivotal time for the capital’s recovery, we are hugely disappointed that the RMT is threatening London with this unnecessary action.
“By making changes to Tube driver rosters, we have provided greater flexibility for drivers as well as permanent work and job certainty, something welcomed by all other unions.
“The return of the Night Tube is a hugely significant moment for the night-time economy and for Londoners travelling late at night who will have improved journey times and an additional safe travel option.
“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.”
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