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Tube strike on Boxing Day in London to cause major disruption

Written on:December 4, 2023
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London Tube stations are likely to get affected due to Boxing Day strike

Boxing Day is likely to be hit by a Tube strike in London as more than 2,000 train drivers plan to go on strike that day sending the first day of winter sales for a toss, making it the third successive Boxing Day strike by drivers belonging to the Aslef union in a dispute over pay and working bank holidays.

December 26, the first day of West End sales, is likely to be hit by the Tube strike as families on traditional outings will have to brace themselves for major disruptions in train services. The Tube has more than 3,000 drivers and those belonging to the rival RMT union, which is not involved in the dispute, could refuse to cross picket lines adding to train cancellations and delays.

Negotiations to end the long running dispute have failed and the strike ballot result will be declared on December 17. In accordance with law, the union must then give seven days notice of any industrial action, leaving just enough time to order the Boxing Day walkout.

The dispute dates back to a 1992 agreement which saw staff getting higher salaries and increased annual leave in return for working on “some” bank holidays. Aslef says conditions have changed since then and their drivers are working on all or most bank holidays.

Previous demands have included triple pay for working on Boxing Day and a day off in compensation, but current demands have not been disclosed by Aslef.

The London Underground’s offer includes allowing Boxing Day volunteers to exchange one day’s annual leave for pay; work Boxing Day and take a day off later or take annual leave. According to Steve Grant, Aslef London district secretary, this offer fell “well short” of the Aslef demands and emphasised the union is not in the business of “selling” hard fought annual leave.

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