They are after additional payments and a day off lieu of working on the bank holiday. This is despite the staff concerned already earning a premium in their annual salary for working on public holidays. Aslef are also planning to hold three further strikes in 2012 on 16th January, 3rd and 13th February.
London Underground (LU) contested the validity of the Aslef leadership's ballot for strike action, as the union had balloted all of its driver members for action despite only a quarter of LU's total of 3,500 drivers being needed to work on 26 December. However, the court decided that Aslef's ballot was not invalid.
General Secretary of Aslef, Mick Whelan, said "Whilst we’re obviously very pleased with today’s verdict, we feel that two days have been wasted going through the courts when we could have spent that time finding a resolution to this dispute."
Howard Collins, LU's Chief Operating Officer, said: 'The Aslef leadership is calling strike action over an outrageous claim for even more money to work on a day for which their members are already being paid. We have done everything we can to avert this needless action, including reducing the impact of Boxing Day working on staff and, as a last resort, taking legal action.
'We remain ready at any time before these four strike days to work with the union's leadership to resolve this issue through talks, and I urge them to get back around the table.
'We will run as many Tube services as we can and extra buses will operate on the busiest bus routes. However, the action taken by the Aslef leadership is likely to cause serious disruption to Tube services across the network affecting the Christmas holiday plans of many Londoners.'
Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, said: "This strike is unwelcome as it will harm London’s retailers, disrupt numerous Boxing Day events and lead to more cars on London’s roads – it is the last thing London needs.
"Londoners who are just days away from being hit by large Tube fare rises will find it hard to understand why this strike is really necessary."