Londoners have been warned to brace for a fresh wave of Night Tube strikes this weekend amid an employee dispute over new rosters.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out on the Central and Victoria lines for eight hours from Friday and Saturday evening.
The union says new rosters have been imposed without agreement, while London Underground (LU) insists drivers will only be rostered up to four night shift weekends a year.
Transport for London (TfL) warned travellers that the Victoria and Central lines could be “severely disrupted” from 7pm on Friday and Saturday.
Nick Dent, LU’s director of customer operations, said: “I apologise to customers who may experience another weekend of disruption because of RMT action on the Central and Victoria lines.
“We know this is the last thing London needs at the moment as it tries to recover from the pandemic. We’ve been speaking to the RMT for some months about this dispute, and have guaranteed there will be no job losses and anyone who wants to stay part-time has been able to.
“Tube drivers will be rostered to work up to four night shift weekends every year, which they’ll be able to swap with colleagues as they wish, which we think is reasonable.
“I’m urging customers to check before they travel and consider using buses where possible.”
Tube strikes planned Central and Victoria lines.
This Friday and Saturday evening and overnight (plus further strikes planned)
Check your travel.
— Transport for London (@TfL) December 9, 2021
TfL had previously announced that the Night Tube would return in time for the busy Christmas period after being suspended since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “The action goes ahead for the simple reason that LU rejected an offer from RMT on Tuesday that they know was a solution, that they admit is cost-neutral to run, and they are now prolonging a dispute that will cost them more than settling because their managers have made a series of errors and don’t want to admit it publicly.
“Londoners are paying the price for the mistakes of LU management. London has enough problems without the botched handling by Tube chiefs of this dispute.”