London minister Paul Scully said the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) walkout over the reinstatement of the Night Tube was “unreasonable”, as he criticised city mayor Sadiq Khan’s handling of the dispute.
Members of the RMT will walk out on Friday and Saturday evenings from this weekend on the Central and Victoria lines in a dispute over rosters, with action set to continue on weekend evenings until June.
- Months of strikes set to cause disruption to London’s Night Tube
- Rail firms defend decision to axe hundreds of trains
- GWR introduces reduced timetable in response to Covid staff shortages
Passengers are being urged to check before they travel and use buses to complete journeys.
Scully: ‘Totally unreasonable’
Mr Scully, asked for his opinion on the strike action, told LBC: “It is totally unreasonable, I think the mayor needs to get back to the table with those unions and TfL (Transport for London) to thrash this out.
“No, he shouldn’t reverse his decision to look at the Night Tube – the Night Tube is a boom for London as we start to open up again but importantly it is vital to give people confidence of the safety and the security about moving around London late at night, especially for workers, not just people who are enjoying hospitality.
“Workers who are maybe late workers, night workers, it gives them the security and safety to move around town.”
Asked what the “longest ever Tube strike” occurring on Labour mayor Mr Khan’s watch said about his stewardship, Mr Scully replied: “He is good at politics, he is not good at leadership, and what we need is a strong leader in London at the moment who is tackling these industrial relations, making sure we can keep Londoners moving.”
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “If London Underground and the mayor thought this fight for progressive and family-friendly working practices was going away they need to think again.
“RMT has repeatedly put forward cost neutral proposals that would repair the damage unleashed by deleting 200 driver posts and which would dig LU out of this mess.
“They have ignored us and that approach will have severe consequences for Londoners through to the summer.”Enjoy more Railways Illustrated Magazine reading every month. Click here to subscribe.