16 March 2016
RMT Press Office:
RMT demands answers on Night Tube safety case and fair deal for engineers.
Biggest tube union demands answers on safety case and a fair deal for engineers after speculation about August start for Night Tube.
London's largest tube union today wrote to London Underground demanding answers on the Night Tube safety case, and a fair deal for Tube Lines engineers, after speculation over an August start for the project.
RMT's LUL members have overwhelmingly backed a pay and conditions package that covers Night Tube and the union has supported the idea of extended running properly introduced through negotiation.
However, the union, as it points out in the letter to LU, attached, has yet to see a full safety case and remains in dispute over nearly 1500 Tube Lines maintenance staff who are currently being balloted for strike action.
General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"We may have settled the dispute for LUL staff on pay and conditions but the idea that all of the outstanding issues have been resolved, not least the safety case and the Tube Lines engineers dispute, is simply not true.
"No one has seen any draft staffing rosters and those basic operational issues would be fundamental to hitting a start date this summer. There is very clearly some distance to go in terms of getting all of the components in place.
"The whole project is being constructed against a backdrop of TFL cuts and only a fool would pretend that those cuts do not have an impact on the operational model.
"RMT remains fully engaged in delivering the Night Tube and fully committed to making sure that all of our members, including Tube Lines, are properly respected and rewarded. "
Just when you thought it was safe to plan for the start of the 24-hour Tube, another strike looms large. RMT is balloting its 1,500 engineering staff who maintain the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Northern Lines, and it is thought that members will vote for industrial action.
An industrial dispute could still wreck the summer launch of the Night Tube. The warning from union leaders comes just 48 hours after it was revealed that Transport for London (TfL) plans to start the 24-hour service on the Jubilee and Victoria lines early in August and on the other three lines - the Piccadilly, Central and Northern - by the end of September. The RMT said the result of a strike ballot among 1,500 engineering staff who maintain the Jubilee, Piccadilly and Northern lines would be announced "within the fortnight."
RMT Night Tube letter to LUL.
Dear Jean Cockerill,
You may be aware that there has been a substantial amount of speculation this week over an alleged start date for Night Tube. TfL has stated that Night Tube could be rolled out later this year.
There was also media coverage in London last week over Police concerns about increased crime taking place during all-night running on Fridays and Saturdays.
As a consequence of these developments and as RMT's lead officer for all members on LUL, I am writing to you directly to raise RMT's serious concerns over the status of the Safety Case, lack of health and safety consultation, and the safety arrangements in place for the passengers, staff and contractors who will be involved.
It is essential that there is no deterioration to health and safety standards and that all proper consultation is concluded before any start date can be considered.
I await your prompt response.
John Leach RMT Regional Organiser London Transport region 11