Plans to restart night tube services on London Underground will be disrupted by strike action on Saturday.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) union will walk out at 8.30pm on the Victoria and Central lines, over a continuing dispute over the drivers’ rota for night services.
It is the second disruption in two days after drivers took part in a 24-hour strike that affected the Northern, Central, Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria lines.
The weekend overnight service, introduced in 2016, was stopped last year during the pandemic and has not yet resumed.
A dispute persists between trade unions and Transport for London (TfL), with accusations the transport authority “ripped up” an agreement made in 2016. It said drivers could choose whether to work on night services, whereas the transport authority has said drivers should work four nights a year.
The RMT general secretary, Mick Lynch, said: “The widespread impact on services is solely down to management failure to recognise and address the anger of their staff at the imposition of damaging and unacceptable working practices.
“This action was wholly avoidable if [London Underground] bosses hadn’t attempted to bulldoze through arrangements that abolished the night tube driver grade, lumping everyone into a central pool where they can be shunted about at will in a drive to cut costs.
“Our members have spoken and it’s time for London Underground to start listening. The mayor and his officials need to recognise our determination to defend progressive and family-friendly working practices. We remain available for talks.”
On Friday the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, criticised unions for striking “at the worst possible time”. The Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said his stance was “precisely why workers are turning away from Labour when a Labour mayor attacks workers”.
Andy Lord, London Underground’s managing director, said customers should check before they travel.
He added: “I am very sorry for the inconvenience that this strike action is causing. We understand that our customers will be frustrated by the RMT’s strike action, which is timed to cause maximum disruption to London.
“This action is the last thing London needs as it recovers from the pandemic, which is why we have done everything we can to get this action called off.”