Mayor of London statement on strike action ‎on London Underground

10 January 2016

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, has issued the following statement regarding the threat of strike action on the London Underground. He said:

"It is unbelievable that the leadership of Aslef should now be contemplating strike action. They were offered excellent terms and conditions for their members to deliver the night tube. They turned those down - without ever properly consulting their membership. They claimed - falsely - that the night tube would badly affect the "work-life balance" of staff. They held a series of strikes in pursuit of outrageous demands. They used the opportunity of the talks over the night tube to try to impose a new four-day week, which would have been completely unaffordable for TfL and for London's fare payers.

“London Underground had no choice but to face down the strike, to refuse the new and unreasonable demands, and to consider other means of delivering the night service. In recent weeks LU has advertised for 200 new part-time drivers. Managers have been overwhelmed by the response. There have been roughly 6,400 applications. In all logic Aslef's leadership should simply let this go ahead. The new arrangements will, after all, do nothing to affect the existing "work-life balance" of their members.

“But it is clear that they not only want to prevent their own members from doing these jobs. They want to stop anyone else from doing them. This is a sickening and cynical display of dog-in-the-mangerism. If a strike goes ahead, it will hit many London Underground workers who do not necessarily support the action, and it will cost the strikers in lost pay. It will inconvenience the travelling public. And it will do absolutely nothing to stop the progress towards the night tube.

“When the new part-time work-force is ready, they will deliver the service. London will get the 24 hour night service it needs, with or without the help of Aslef. It would have been much better and quicker if the union leadership had even allowed their membership to consider the excellent offer from LU, but they seem to have succumbed to an advanced attack of Corbynitis.”