London – Hundreds of thousands of London Underground passengers face fresh disruption as drivers plan to stage a strike on Friday on the Central Line, the ASLEF train employees’ union said on Tuesday.
A second strike by Tube drivers on the line is also planned for Nov. 7.
The strike, organised by Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen members, threatens to bring the line, which is used by over 800,000 passengers a day, to a standstill.
The Central Line is a London Underground metro line that runs through central London, serving 49 stations over 74 km.
Union leaders claim there is a “breakdown of industrial relations’’ in a long-running dispute with London Underground (LU) and accused Tube bosses of imposing “unsafe’’ working practices.
“Industrial action is always the last resort but, given the intransigence of management on a whole range of issues affecting our members, we have, reluctantly, decided this is our only course of action.
“The strike on the Central Line is the result of management’s failure to deal with the issues our reps have raised regarding service control problems affecting our members.
“Abuse of the attendance at work procedure, breach of agreements regarding managers driving trains and abuse of the case conference procedure.
“Harsh and unfair use of the disciplinary procedure and imposition of new and unsafe ‘flash and dash’ working practices,’’ ASLEF’s Underground organiser said.
Drivers belonging to the rival RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) union could refuse to cross picket lines, increasing the risk of no service over all or large parts of the line.
The strike follows four days of disruption on the Piccadilly Line recently by members of the RMT in a separate dispute, but the union also blamed a breakdown of industrial relations.