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Weekend London Underground strikes threaten recovery of West End

Tom Shearsmith
07 January 2022

Union bosses at RMT have confirmed that six months of weekend strike action on the London Underground's Victoria and Central lines will commence this week in protest at the rosters used to staff the Night Tube service.

The union has made it clear that the mandate extends to other lines and will consider broadening the action if London Underground fail to respond. The industrial action means drivers will stop clocking in from 8:30pm each Friday and Saturday night until 8:00am the following morning, until mid-June.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: "As the New Year gets under way our battle for workplace justice for tube staff steps up a gear with a new phase of action running from tomorrow through to the summer.

"RMT has repeatedly put forward cost neutral proposals that would repair the damage unleashed by deleting 200 driver posts. They have ignored us and that approach will have severe consequences for Londoners through to the summer. We remain available for further talks."

New West End Company, which represents around 600 businesses across Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street and in Mayfair, has warned about the consequences that strikes will have on the financial recovery of the West End.

Jace Tyrrell, Chief Executive Officer at New West End Company, said: "Following another challenging festive period, hospitality and leisure businesses hope that the start of 2022 will bring optimism and footfall, however the new year joy has been depleted by the threat of even more disruptions caused by the planned Night Tube strikes.

"The proposed six-month strike action threatens the West End’s night-time economy at a critical point when many businesses will be looking to recover from the impact of the pandemic. We strongly encourage RMT to call off these strikes in order to give viable hospitality businesses in the capital the best possible chance of survival."

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