Underground set to shut down this week amid worst Tube strikes in a decade

Drivers reject pay offer ahead of 24-hour Tube service introduction in September

Strikes are expected to completely shut down the entire Tube network from Wednesday evening, after talks between transport unions and London Underground broke down.

The industrial action, which is in response to the introduction of the 24-hour Tube service in September, will see 20,000 workers from four unions, strike for 24 hours from Wednesday evening.

It looks set to be the biggest Tube strike London has seen in more than a decade, since most strikes in recent years have predominantly involved station staff, rather than drivers.

Four unions, including ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, voted for strike action over pay and conditions when the extended Tube service begins.

London Underground had initially offered drivers a 0.75% pay rise and a bonus of £250 for Tube drivers, but the offer was rejected.

As the 6.30pm deadline for agreeing a deal approached yesterday, London Underground offered a “full and final” offer of a 2% pay rise this year and £2,000 for Tube drivers.

However, the deadline passed before the Unions could examine the terms of the deal, so the strike looks set to go ahead.

“Our representatives on London Underground have discussed it and are clear that it is divisive and unacceptable,” said RMT general secretary Mick Cash.

Cash added: “The deal as it stands is financed off the back of the proposed axing of over 800 safety-critical station jobs and is deliberately constructed to play individuals off against each other in the most cynical fashion.”

ASLEF district organiser Finn Brennan said: “We haven’t rejected their offer, but London Underground has taken it away by saying all four unions have to respond by 6.30 tonight. I think they must have known in practical terms it is impossible to do.”

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