Taking the tube to work is one of the great joys of living in London, isn’t it; the overcrowding, the heat, the smells… oh boy! THE SMELLS!
And commuters had something else entirely to look forward to with this morning’s announcement of another strike on the London Underground.
But, in a helpful turn of events, a union spokesman has confirmed the strike has now been called off. He said: “There was a flaw in the statutory notice and we will reballot.”
According to the Evening Standard, tube drivers had voted to take part in a 24-hour walkout on 28 March. More than 100 train crews were expected to walk out from the Acton depot, while a further 144 drivers were to be balloted this week.
Transport for London said it expected the District line to run at about 60% of capacity. The walkout was set to begin at 12.01am next Wednesday and last until 11.59pm.
A spokesman for the Aslef union said the disagreement stems from accusations that TfL treated a member of staff unfairly over alleged safety breaches.
A TfL spokesperson told ShortList this morning: “The situation with this driver is not as the union has described and no disciplinary action has been taken against them. A driver had a number of safety incidents in their first few months of driving and, in line with our agreed policies, was offered an alternative role on our stations which they agreed to. There is no cause for a dispute, and we call on the unions to continue working with us to ensure the safety of our customers and staff.”
According to Aslef, drivers voted by 98% in favour of strikes on a turnout of almost 80%.
Finn Brennan, Aslef’s organiser on London Underground, added to ShortList: “We are really disappointed that London Underground has refused, for the last six weeks, to even sit down with us to discuss this issue. Our members want policies and procedures to be applied fairly. Sadly, some managers on LU want to pick and choose which policies they apply. Threatening individuals with disciplinary action, refusing to talk, and leaving our members with no other option than to take strike action is not the progressive approach we expect to see from Transport for London.”