- First walkout planned for late January to protest new service
- Separate action scheduled over job loses at ticket offices
London Underground rail workers plan three days of strikes through mid-February in their continuing dispute with Mayor Boris Johnson over employment and staffing terms for a new night-time service.
The first walkout will halt trains from late on Jan. 26 until the next evening, followed by two consecutive strikes on Feb. 15 and Feb. 17, the Rail, Maritime and Transport union said in a statement Monday. Other unspecified action is planned from Feb. 7 to Feb. 13 as part of a separate protest at the elimination of as many as 800 jobs starting next month as some ticket offices are closed.
The introduction of the weekend night service, a darling of Johnson’s tenure as mayor, was first slated to start in September. Strikes over terms for the new shifts led London Underground Ltd., operator of the network popularly known as the Tube, to postpone the plan for further negotiations.
Unions “expect our customers to pay for their excessive demands for even more money, fewer hours and a four-day week,” London Underground Chief Operating Officer Steve Griffiths said in a statement in response to the RMT decision and calls for stoppages from the Unite group and drivers’ union Aslef.
“No employer could allow this, and strike action will change nothing,” it said. “There is no more money.”