Last Wednesday ASLEF got the result of the ballot for strike action on the Central Line and it was supported by 90% although I’ve not heard how many of us voted so we could have the usual suspects whining on about us not having a majority. A strike has been called for this Friday, 22nd August, with a second on Wednesday 17th September if things aren't sorted out by then. ASLEF members will not book on between 00:01 and 23:59 which means that unlike the RMT strikes we won’t cause any problems for people getting home the night before but there might be a few first trains missing the following morning.
On Thursday morning our reps met with management to let them know that "the ball was in their court" and that we'd would be willing to call it off at any time as long as there was significant progress but so far we’ve heard nothing further. There have been no internal announcements from management saying that our action is unnecessary and nothing externally, almost as if the strike is being ignored in the hope it will go away. I suppose it wouldn’t have filtered through until Friday by which time everyone at 55 Broadway was looking forward to the weekend, no one was thinking about work, they all went down the pub lunchtime so no one was in a fit state to do anything in the afternoon and they’ll get on to it first thing Monday morning.
RMT are not going on strike, they’ve responded by complaining that they raised all the issues we are going on strike over at a meeting this time last year but ASLEF refused to support them – or to put it another way we’re like the USA in both World Wars, turning up late and then claiming all the credit. Looking back at my somewhat scanty blogging from last year that was when ASLEF were negotiating a settlement to the Boxing Day dispute, something RMT had shown absolutely no interest in until after it was settled when they complained the agreement was less than they’d wanted.
Unless I hear otherwise ASLEF will be on strike this Friday and services on the Central Line could be severely reduced. Don’t forget you heard it here first because LUL, TfL, the Mayor of London, the Evening Standard and every other news outlet can't be bothered.