London Underground staff working on the Night Tube are likely to walkout after unions held a ballot on strike action over full time jobs.
Night tube drivers in the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) have voted overwhelmingly for strike action and other industrial action because of a “block on career progression which has been imposed by London Underground (LU)".
Members of the union voted on Tuesday (March 14) with 96% in favour of a strike.
RMT general secretary, Mick Cash, said: “It is outrageous that London Underground have decided to discriminate against their Night Tube drivers.
“This is a senseless and damaging policy that picks out one group of staff for negative treatment and of course the drivers are angry and that is why our members have voted overwhelmingly for action.
“RMT would call on LU to see sense, stop these stupid attacks on career progression and fair reward for overtime working and confirm that this discrimination against the Night Tube drivers has been lifted.”
The dispute is over a policy that prevents Night Tube train operators from moving into vacant full-time position for at least 18 months while all other staff, including part-time Night Tube station staff can apply.
LU has also said that Night Tube drivers do not get overtime pay until they exceed 35 hours a week, but because they are contracted only 16 hours they are no compensated for late finishing.
RMT's executive committee will also decide on the next course of action.
Fin Brennan, from the union ASLEF (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen), said: “The vast majority of Night Tube drivers took up the job because hey saw it as a stepping stone to a full-time train driver's job.
“They believed LU's assurances that they would have opportunities to progress, not to just spend year after year working every Friday and Saturday night.
“But no the company is refusing them that opportunity. New staff are being recruited to full-time driver jobs that Night Tube drivers are not being allowed to apply for.”
ASLEF is also balloting members on strike action and the vote is set to close on Thursday (March 16).
London Underground operations director, Peter McNaught, said: "Night Tube services have been running since August last year in line with agreements reached with the unions.
"We’ve met with the RMT to discuss and resolve the new issues that they have.
"We have invited the RMT to more talks later this week and I encourage them to continue discussions with us rather than threaten industrial action."
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