Night Tube drivers from across London Underground came together for a packed ASLEF open meeting on Thursday Feb 9th where Trains Council reps and senior officials reported on the company’s failure to make any movement on providing a route to full time roles.
The vast majority of night tube drivers took up the job because they saw it as a stepping stone to a full-time train drivers 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 now the company is refusing them that opportunity. New staff are being recruited to full time driver jobs that NT drivers are not being allowed to apply for. This will mean that all full time vacancies will be filled and it could be many years before NT drivers have a chance to go full time.
ASLEF have repeatedly told LU that we believe this to be unfair and potentially unlawful but so far, they simply haven’t been prepared to listen.
Already our branches on each of the night tube lines have supported resolutions calling for a ballot for industrial action. The meeting of NT drivers was unanimous in supporting that position. A report will now go the ASLEF Executive Committee asking that they take the necessary steps to start a ballot of our Night Tube members for industrial action.
We know of course that it won’t be possible for everyone to go full time as quickly as they would like. But there must be a fair system that makes sure existing drivers are not disadvantaged or treated unfairly because they are part time. Unfortunately, it seems that LU will only deal with this problem when NT drivers show they are prepared to take action.
There will be a further update once the ASLEF Executive have discussed this issue next week. To show management we are serious about getting a fair deal we need to make sure that everyone is a union member. Please speak to your colleagues to make sure they have joined already and encourage them to sign up to ASLEF here.
If you are not already on our text group, please contact Gary Comfort with your mobile number so that you are kept up to date with all developments.