The Central and Victoria lines will be affected later this month, if planned strikes go ahead.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has announced that a number of its train operators will walk out from 8pm on Thursday 29 August to 8pm on Friday 30 August.
How will the lines be affected?
TfL itself told Londonist:
The honest answer is we don't know yet. [The RMT] only let us know yesterday so we're yet to see what service we’d be able to run on these days. When we have more info on that we'll put it out.
Blogger Ian Visits, meanwhile, reckons that the Victoria line could lose around half its drivers, but still maintain a reduced service, while the Central line could run into some serious bother.
Why are the strikes being planned in the first place?
The RMT is citing a litany of beef that has prompted the proposed strikes, including insufficient driver numbers/chronic understaffing; imposed rosters; undue pressure and bullying; inadequate welfare facilities and breaches of local agreements; unlawful deduction of wages; and unacceptable noise levels. (Phew. That's not even all of them.)
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
Our train operator members have been forced to take strike action on the Central and Victoria lines after a breakdown in industrial relations in ongoing disputes which management refuse to settle and which they have dragged out for as long as they can.
TfL, unsurprisingly, doesn't quite agree, saying:
We have met with the RMT to discuss their issues a number of times, and have outlined how we can address their concerns. We are surprised that they have announced strike action, rather than continuing to work with us to resolve these issues.
We encourage the RMT to engage with us rather than subjecting Londoners to unnecessary disruption, and remain available for talks at any time.
A number of threatened tube strikes have been called off in recent years, so it could be that all this comes to naught. Here's hoping.