Tube strikes planned for every weekend up until Christmas

Tube workers are set to start their series of strikes this weekend ahead of the reopening of the night services (Picture: PA)

Commuters are likely to be facing weeks of travel chaos in the run-up to Christmas as London Underground drivers are set to strike in a row over ‘unacceptable’ rotas.

Unless cancelled at the last minute, industrial action will go ahead starting this weekend, bringing major disruption to five underground lines, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union confirmed.

When are the London tube strikes?

Full-day strikes are planned for Friday, November 26, and Saturday, December 18, between 4.30am and 4.29am the following day.

Drivers working on the Central and Victoria lines will also carry out overnight walk-outs from 8.30pm to 4.30am on each Saturday and Sunday starting from this weekend until December 19.

What lines and stations will be affected in the London tube strikes?

Full-day strikes are planned for Friday, November 26, and Saturday, December 18 (Picture: Getty)
Alongside disruptions to day and night services this weekend, several stations will also be shut (Picture: TFL)

The two 24-hour protests on November 26 and December 18 will affect the Victoria, Central, Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines.

Commuters have been warned of severe disruptions and little or no service in some places.

The Bakerloo, Circle, District, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines will operate as normal on those dates, but they are likely to experience a knock-off effect from the walk-outs and are expected to be much busier than usual.

DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and National Rail services will also not suffer from the walkouts.

Why will there be London tube strikes?

RMT, which has more than 80,000 members, called for the first two days of the industrial action to coincide with the reopening of the Night Tube.

The union said staff will be striking over what they describe as the ‘imposition of unacceptable and intolerable demands’.

They argue that London Underground has refused to consider the serious grievances at the heart of their dispute and that it has become clear the drive from Tube bosses is ‘all about cutting costs regardless of the impact on staff’ and the services they operate.

A London Underground train arrives at Oxford Circus station in central London on August 20, 2016, following the launch of the 24-hour service (Picture: AFP)

General Secretary Mick Lynch said: ‘We will take no lectures from London Underground on safety as no one has worked harder to ensure a safe environment for women than the RMT.

‘While Tube bosses have axed staff and left stations routinely unstaffed, with all of the obvious risks, we have campaigned relentlessly for the front line, physical ‎presence of visible staff on stations and platforms.

‘We are now being repaid by the imposition of working arrangements that would wreck the work-life balance of our members.

‘No one should underestimate the anger this issue has generated amongst drivers.

‘All of this was avoidable if the Tube management hadn’t axed dedicated Night Tube staff and perfectly workable arrangements in order to cut staffing numbers and costs.’

The Night Tube was suspended in March 2020 over the Covid-19 crisis and the lack of demand as Londoners remained locked inside for months on.

However, TfL announced in October that the reopening of Central and Victoria lines services will be brought forward from April 2022.

The U-turn followed a petition signed by more than 138,000 calling for late-night trains to restart this winter to protect women and girls.

But TfL pointed out that, on average, drivers on the lines served by the Night Tube would be expected to work around four weekends a year.

Nick Dent, director of London Underground customer operations, said: ‘At such a pivotal time for the capital’s recovery, we are hugely disappointed that the RMT is threatening London with this unnecessary action.

‘By making changes to Tube driver rosters, we have provided greater flexibility for drivers as well as permanent work and job certainty, something welcomed by all other unions. 

‘The return of Night Tube is a hugely significant moment for the night-time economy and for Londoners travelling late at night who will have improved journey times and an additional safe travel option.’

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