RMT Brixton picket line RMT Brixton picket line

RMT drivers on the London Underground picketed outside tube stations in response to night-tube relaunch plans that will ‘wreck’ work-life balance, reports Unjum Mirza

RMT tube drivers commenced strike action on Friday 26 November over the return of the night tube. During the pandemic, part-time night-tube drivers were rostered onto day shifts to help cover driver shortages caused by sickness and self-isolating, given that the night tube was suspended.

Now, in an agreement signed off with Aslef, the grade was ‘consolidated’ with part-time night-tube drivers offered the opportunity to go full-time. The resultant eradication of the night-tube grade means existing full-time drivers, contrary to the agreement in 2015, will have to do some night shifts, which RMT says would wreck the work-life balance for drivers.

The 2015 night-tube agreement was across all grades. It is a shame, therefore, that this action hasn’t been co-ordinated across all the grades.

With the TfL funding crisis coming to a head, we have to extend solidarity work on the ground urgently, among the rank-and-file, and across unions, on the eve of the huge, imminent, and inevitable struggles to come on the tube.

The night tube is set to return on 27 November. Strikes began at 4:30am on 26 November on the Victoria, Central, Northern, Jubilee and Piccadilly lines. The Central and Victoria lines will also strike from 8:30pm on 27 November to 4:30am on 28 November. Similarly scheduled strikes are planned on the Central and Victoria line for 3-4, 10-11 and 17 December.

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Unjum Mirza

Unjum Mirza is a driver on the London Underground. He is on the Editorial Board of Tunnel Vision, the rank and file bulletin, and is an Aslef union branch chair.

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