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Full steam ahead for Night Tube strikes as train drivers vote 100pc for action

PUBLISHED: 19:05 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:58 17 March 2017

London's Night Tube

London's Night Tube

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Drivers on London’s Night Tube are staging strikes on two Saturdays next month after voting in favour of action in a dispute over jobs.

Waiting for a Night Tube train at Bethnal Green that might not come... strike threat on on April 8 and 29Waiting for a Night Tube train at Bethnal Green that might not come... strike threat on on April 8 and 29

Members of both Aslef and the RMT unions walk out on April 8 and 29.

The Aslef drivers voted 100 per cent today for strike in a 75pc turnout, following Aslef’s earlier nine-to-one vote for action.

Drivers on the weekend service, which began on the Central and Victoria lines in August, are being blocked from applying for full-time jobs and don’t qualify for overtime pay, the unions claim.

“London Underground under the previous mayor pushed through part-time staff recruitment to operate Night Tube,” Aslef’s Finn Brennan said. “They weren’t prepared to find a fair way to roster the work with full-time staff.

Night Tube on the Central... running for the momentNight Tube on the Central... running for the moment

“Boris Johnson believed new part-time recruits could be used to undermine trade unions and attack conditions for existing staff—but the new recruits got active and have delivered a huge ‘Yes’ vote.”

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “It’s outrageous that London Underground has decided to discriminate against Night Tube drivers with a senseless and damaging policy that picks out one group for negative treatment.”

Night Tube services have been running for seven months with agreements reached with the unions, LT insists.

Operations director Peter McNaught said: “We’ve met the unions to resolve the new issues and have invited them to more talks this week, rather than threaten industrial action.”

But notice of strike action was given to LT well before the legal seven days required, the unions point out, to keep the door open to “proper negotiations”.

The strike on April 8 and 29 means no through-the-night trains on the Jubilee, Northern, Victoria and Piccadilly lines, as well as the Central at all-night stops including Liverpool Street, Bethnal Green, Mile End and Stratford.

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