Aslef calls strike for 5 October

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Mon, 25/09/2017 - 13:12,

Aslef has called a strike for Thursday 5 October, in its dispute with LU over work/life balance issues for drivers. RMT is in dispute over the same issues, but is yet to ballot its driver members.

The dispute is a hangover from the 2015 pay settlement, which committed the company to explore ways of improving drivers' work/life balance. The company has dragged its feet since, and the only concrete development has been the "four day week" trial on the Jubilee Line. Aslef wants that model rolled out of the rest of the combine.

Tubeworker shares RMT's concerns about the Jubilee Line model. It has involved breaking drivers' framework to increase maximum time on the front, and our view is that "four day week" models that actually involve an increase, rather than a reduction, in working time should be rejected. It is a little perplexing that Aslef are making this their headline issue, when the model doesn't seem popular even amongst their own membership. RMT's position is that a referendum of drivers should take place before the model is expanded.

A joint union dispute over work/life balance is a great idea, but it should demand a reduction in working time. We'd also like to see it expand to cover other grades. Nevertheless, whether or not we agree with the exact approach Aslef are taking, not crossing a picket line is a bedrock principle of trade unionism. If the strike goes ahead, no trains should move. Tubeworker also reminds station staff at stations with attached train depots, where there will likely be picket lines, of that bedrock principle.

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