Tube strike to go ahead after talks break down

Central line drivers are expected to strike tomorrow

Central line drivers are expected to strike tomorrow

First published in News
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Last-ditch talks to avert Friday’s planned Tube strike have broken down.

ASLEF and London Underground failed to reach agreement and drivers will walk-out for 24-hours from midnight tonight.

ASLEF said the 24-hour strike, which would affect the Central and Waterloo & City lines, was prompted by management failure to treat employees with “respect and dignity”, amid accusations of heavy-handed sick leave assessments and safety concerns.

ASLEF district organiser, Finn Brennan, said: "We believed we were making genuine progress right up until this morning, when management moved their position back from agreements made in the week.  

"We are deeply disappointed. To be honest it is symptomatic of problems on the Central Line. It's a management that doesn't really seem to understand the problems of the staff, and they're not trusted by the staff to honour agreements. 

"People suffering from genuine illnesses are leaving sickness reviews in tears because of the lack of empathy and support.

"There's a culture of bullying on the Line, it's quite clear that the management believe that the only way to manage is by using a big stick." 
 

London Underground’s general manager, Lance Ramsay, had urged the union to stay in negotiations.

He said: “We have been holding discussions with ASLEF to work through local issues they have raised within our agreed processes.

"We’re disappointed that ASLEF members have voted in favour of strike action while discussions are still ongoing.

"Strike action is not necessary and we urge them to continue talks with us to understand and resolve their concerns.”

A Central line train driver, who blogs as ‘ASLEF Shrugged’,  said of today’s talks: “For myself that is a reason to be cheerful, usually ACAS tell LUL [London Underground Ltd] that they should abide by any existing agreements with the unions and by flouting those agreements they’ve been behaving like a collection of troublesome 8 year olds.”

This morning he added: “Yesterday's talks at ACAS seem to have been as unproductive as at previous meetings so both parties are back around the table again today with the clock ticking and I’m certainly getting the feeling that tomorrow I’m going to lose a day’s pay.”

ASLEF District organiser Finn Brennan said on Twitter on Wednesday night:  “ASLEF will attend talks ... But our members want to see actions not just words from LUL.”

London Underground has advised users to check before they travel as the walk-out is expected to cause major disruption to services.
 

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