London Braced for Second Tube Strike in Less than a Month

Commuters use their mobile devices on an underground tube train in London
REUTERS/Russell Boyce

Londoners face major transport disruption from Wednesday evening as train drivers and staff on the underground rail network walk out for the second time in less than a month.

Unions are angry over plans to introduce a new night service from September and weeks of talks with transport bosses have failed to clinch a deal over pay and conditions.

Services on the “Tube”, as the world’s oldest underground passenger railway is known, will stop from 18:30 BST on Wednesday until Friday morning, according to London Underground bosses.

The action comes just under a month since drivers walked out, bringing services used by some four million people a day to a complete halt and causing misery for commuters in the British capital.

In July, unions rejected an offer which included an average 2 percent pay rise, a 2,000 pound “transition bonus” for night-time drivers and a 500-pound one-off payment.

On Tuesday, the ASLEF union rejected a new deal from transport officials as “repackaged” paving the way for further strike action.

A spokeswoman for the mayor of London described the latest offer as “fair, sensible and generous” and urged unions to take part in further negotiations.

However, the general secretary of a second union involved in the dispute, said that the plans for a night service risked passengers’ safety and that there were no new talks due to take place.

“It is a measure of the current shambles that no further talks are planned and staffing posts essential to delivering a safe extension of operating hours are still being axed,” RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said in a statement.

From Reuters