Members of the TSSA and RMT unions have voted to strike in a row over pay for staff working on the new weekend night Tube service.
City Hall and Transport for London say the service will transform night time journeys for millions of Londoners by cutting around 20 minutes from the average trip time. They also predict it will boost the capital’s economy by £360 million and help support around 2,000 permanent jobs.
However the service’s start date of 12 September was announced before TfL and London Underground had reached agreement with staff and unions over pay.
News of the TSSA and RMT votes comes just weeks after Tube drivers belonging to the Aslef union rejected an offered 0.75% pay rise and £500 bonus.
91.7% of RMT members taking part in a ballot have backed strike action while 96.5% voted for action short of a strike.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “It is simply outrageous that management, in a mad dash to bulldoze through the night running stunt, have smashed apart long-term agreements and have resorted to trying to bully staff into accepting roster changes at a local level and the message from RMT and our sister unions is clear – we are not having it.
“These changes would also lock our members into a culture of anti-social hours and appalling working conditions that would rip apart work/life balance whilst at the same time they are being hit with pay proposals that would undermine their standard of living.
“RMT will be co-ordinating campaigning with our sister tube unions as we seek to defend negotiating agreements, decent pay and the rights and working conditions of our members.”
Strike action has also been backed by the TSSA union which says its members will strike on July 8th, the same day as ASLEF.
The unions and LU are currently in talks at ACAS.
Commenting on the threat of strikes, Steve Griffiths, London Underground’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Londoners and businesses overwhelmingly back the Night Tube. It will make life easier for everyone, cut journey times, create jobs and boost the economy.
“Most of our staff will not be affected by the new services at all because it affects only five of eleven lines. Some staff will actually work fewer nights than they do now because we have hired 137 more train operators specifically for the Night Tube.
“The train staff who will be affected are being asked to work around an additional seven nights each year on average, with no increase in their total current hours. No-one is being asked to work more hours.
“In return, we are offering a realistic pay increase this year and next, as well as an additional payment for Night Tube working. We are ready to negotiate, but any increase must be sustainable and fair. I urge the Trade Unions to keep talking to us to achieve a settlement.”