London Underground has told a meeting of the Trains Functional Council, the negotiating body for drivers, comprised of senior bosses plus reps from Aslef and RMT, that it plans to mothball Night Tube, which has been suspended for months, until March 2021.
There's every reason to continue the suspension. The late-night economy that Night Tube principally serves will not be restarting any time soon, and forcing Night Tube workers to run a service would certainly not be in the spirit of eliminating non-essential work, something the unions rightly continue to demand from LU.
But we need guaranteed protections for Night Tube workers. LU says it "has no plans" to permanently cut Night Tube services, but their plans could change. Any Night Tube worker who wants to change their hours to work during the day must be given the opportunity to do that, and those who wish to retain Night Tube hours need to have their jobs protected, possibly with an extended use of furloughing. Night Tube workers must remember that, while they can be asked to voluntarily work outside of their contracted hours, they cannot be compelled to do so.