London Night-Tube Talks Collapse, Putting 2015 Start in Doubtby
Management says unions demanded four-day week at last moment
RMT says Mayor Johnson pulled plug on deal from Japan
London Underground Ltd. said unions quit negotiations on the introduction of a 24-hour subway after demanding a four-day working week for drivers on the so-called Night Tube when an agreement had been close.
The ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and Unite unions walked out of talks at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, jeopardizing the planned introduction of the weekends-only operation before the end of the year, Transport for London, which overseas London Underground, said in a statement.
London Underground said it had agreed to trial four-day working at two locations and that its latest proposals would now be put direct to employees.
“Our offer has been reworked considerably from where we were when the trade unions balloted their members for strike action, which is why we now feel we must seek the views of our staff, as the unions haven’t,” Chief Operating Officer Steve Griffiths said in the release.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said in a statement that London Mayor Boris Johnson had rung officials from Japan and instructed them to “kick the Night Tube into next year,” after London Underground sought to impose rosters. TfL said it knew nothing about the claims, though Johnson was in the Asia nation.
The mayor had been aiming to begin the Night Tube on Sept. 12 before a series of strikes forced a climbdown.