LU allowed a week to go by before they finally agreed to meet with the unions over Night Tube so if they meet on Monday they’ll have just 10 days to work out an agreement before we go out on what will potentially be the most disruptive strike for decades. Their lack of urgency is sadly not surprising, they’ve never seemed bothered in the past about their employees or their passengers, their jobs are safe and in fact some of them are looking at promotion.
Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy has quit to chair Network Rail, obviously he didn’t fancy the prospect of having to explain to the new Mayor why he made no attempt to restrain Boris wilder flights of fancy - the Boris Bus, the cable car, the garden bridge - at a time when TfL’s budget was being cut. Ex-LU Managing Director Mike Brown has temporality taken over Hendy’s office with the hope of making it a permanent move, someone will have to move up to fill his desk at London Rail and so everyone shuffles up a step. Maybe that is why they couldn’t start negotiations this week, they were all too busy jockeying for position and measuring up for new office curtains.
At the moment there are various opinions rolling around the depots as to how things will eventually pan out, a popular one is that in order to make the Night Tube shifts attractive management will either pay a higher rate, give an additional day off in the week after or both. If it attracts enough people to volunteer to work them then I’ll certainly be happy, you can have my Night Tubes any time. I guess we’ll find out next week whether LU are actually serious about ending the dispute or whether they are happy to let the thing drag on and on.
I'm not holding my breath.......