Union confident London Underground will back down before strike

London Underground will be the first to back down before the next planned industrial action, the union representing the majority of tube drivers has claimed.

“There won’t be another strike, because between now and the next date they [LU] will raise the white flag,” an Aslef spokesman told the Recorder about the strike, which is scheduled for 9.30pm on August 5.

The planned 24-hour walkout by unions Aslef and Unite follows the 27-hour action on July 8-9 by all four unions, which led to a shutdown of the entire Underground network, after long-standing disputes with LU over pay and the night tube service.

LU’s ‘final’ offer of an average 2 per cent payrise and an extra £2,000 bonus for all new night tube workers was put on the table just the afternoon before the July strike – and rejected outright.

“There was a lot of bullying and intimidation, which wasn’t going to work,” said the Acas spokesman, adding: “London Underground has nowhere to go. We have given them a head’s up on what they can do to avoid the strike.”

When asked if Aslef would have accepted the offer had it been on the table longer, the spokesman replied: “It’s not good enough. They have got to come back with something better.”

Talks between LU and the unions with Acas are planned to continue up until the strike. RMT and TSSA, who joined the industrial action in July, are yet to say whether they will also walk out on the day.

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John Allan, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said the prospect of a second Tube strike in less than a month was “disappointing news” and “another blow for businesses.”

“Many small companies proved their flexibility and resourcefulness last week, allowing their employees to work remotely, or hold meetings with clients online rather than in person.

“Nevertheless, there will be further damage to the economy and millions of pounds lost to businesses if this strike goes ahead,” he said.