The second strike in a month was called in a dispute over terms and conditions for the introduction of 24-hour train services on weekends from September.
While unions do not oppose all-night running, they are seeking guarantees about the number of weekend night shifts drivers and other staff will be forced to work.
Finn Brennan, the London district organiser for Aslef, the drivers’ union, said it had consulted members across every line and depot: “The main concern is the complete lack of firm commitments on work-life balance for train drivers. We would be prepared to continue discussions to try to find common ground, but senior management are insistent that new rosters will be issued this week so the night tube starts on 12 September.
The RMT rejected the proposed deal, warning that it had concerns over how the proposed night tube service would impact on the network and that weekday commuters could pay a heavy price in terms of safety, reliability and quality without weekend downtime. It accused the London mayor, Boris Johnson, of creating a vanity scheme “without any understanding of how the railway runs in reality”.
Unions said they were left with no choice but to take industrial action for 24 hours from Wednesday evening, spelling misery for commuters by completely closing the capital’s tube network on Thursday.