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'Delay launch of Night Tube' demand unions as strike looms

Tube Union leaders today demanded Boris Johnson postpone the launch of his flagship 24-hour Underground service.

Credit: PA

The 'Night Tube', operating on five lines on Friday and Saturday nights, is due to start on September 12th.

But the unions have refused to accept new rosters and extra payments including £200 a shift for drivers who work on the Night Tube.

Credit: PA

A strike by members of four unions, RMT, Aslef, TSSA and Unite, is expected to bring the Underground to a standstill tomorrow evening.

Services are likely to become erratic from 6.30pm with no trains after 9.30pm. The Underground is expected to remain closed throughout Thursday.

Credit: PA

Negotiations at the conciliation service ACAS broke down without agreement yesterday. No further talks are likely until next week.

The RMT claimed the Night Tube was 'fundamentally flawed' and should be postponed indefinitely.

Millions of week day commuters, who fork out a fortune in fares, risk seeing their safety compromised and their services reduced to chaos so that a few thousand revellers can be shipped home in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday morning and experienced tube managers know that.

We urgently need to get talks convened with tube professionals who understand the reasons behind a crisis which should never have been allowed to get this far.

– Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary

Despite the fair, sensible and generous offer on the table – which will see no one working more hours than they do today - the unions have chosen not to put it to their members and to reject it outright.

The fact is that the Night Tube is well supported by Londoners and by businesses across the capital. The Mayor believes that most reasonable people see its introduction as a progressive move for transport in our city.

He urges the unions to get back round the table and avoid this totally unnecessary strike.

– Spokesman for Boris Johnson