Central Line strike threatens commuter misery on London Underground

PUBLISHED: 12:50 02 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:20 02 October 2018

The Central Line has been revealed to have had the most thefts last year. Picture: PA/Nick Ansell

The Central Line has been revealed to have had the most thefts last year. Picture: PA/Nick Ansell

PA Wire/PA Images

Commuters face rail misery following the announcement of Central Line strikes on Friday.

The strike is set to last all day. Picture: Transport for LondonThe strike is set to last all day. Picture: Transport for London

Members of train drivers’ union ASLEF are set to walk out following a breakdown in talks with London Underground managers over how people are managed following sickness and alleged breaches of agreements.

The union also flagged up concerns over new “flash and dash” rules preventing drivers from checking to make sure everyone was off trains at the end of the night before they get taken to the depot.

ASLEF organiser Finn Brennan said: “Industrial action is always the last resort, but due to management refusing to budge on a range of issues affecting our members, we have reluctantly decided this is our only course of action.

“What links these issues is a basic failure to treat drivers on the line with fairness and respect.”

Tube drivers voted by more than 9:1 for action, according to the union, which criticised management accusing them of not treating drivers like human beings.

He claimed London Underground management had ample opportunities to resolve the dispute but chose not to believing they will get what they want by using “sticks instead of carrots”.

He described a “climate of fear” on the line.

“But our drivers will not be bullied by management. And the huge “Yes” vote for industrial action has shown that our members will not be easily intimidated,” Mr Brennan added.

Nigel Holness, TfL’s director of network operations, said the “possible” strike action will mean that the Central and Waterloo & City lines would be closed for the day.

He added that if there were any changes to service levels, TfL would update customers through its website, journey planner and social media channels.

“We are meeting with ASLEF leadership to try to work with them to avoid this strike action and I urge them to continue these positive discussions so that Londoners don’t experience disruption this week,” Mr Holness said.

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