The rush-hour will begin early today, August 5, as London workers look to avoid the strike action which begins at 6.30pm.

Services will not resume until Friday morning in a dispute between rail unions and London Underground over the Night Tube, due to start on September 12.

The RMT said it was looking to recruit engineers working for Tube Lines into the dispute.

Staff at Canary Wharf-based Tube Lines maintain the Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee lines and was part of a collapsed public-private partnership which was absorbed back into TfL.

• Also online: The deal the unions rejected

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Tube Lines staff have been offered a deal over the next two years on pay and 24-hour running which mirrors that on offer to the rest of the LU workforce.

“It is as unacceptable on Tube Lines as it is across the rest of the combine and as a result these essential maintenance staff will now be balloted for both strike action and action short of a strike.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson has apologised for the inconvenience but called the offer to rail unions “generous”.

There is likely to be less disruption this time around because of the impact of the summer holidays on numbers and the adaptability of commuters to work from home to avoid the crush.

LU managing director Nick Brown urged the four unions involved in the dispute – RMT, TSSA, Aslef and Unite – to put the latest offer to their members.

• Also online: Tube strike travel advice for Canary Wharf workers

He said: “Drivers will have the same number of weekends off as now and no one will be asked to work more hours than they do today. Everybody will remain entitled to two days off in seven. Annual leave will remain at 43 days for a train driver and 52 days for station staff.

“The unions rejected this fair offer outright and instead demanded more money, the hiring of even more staff - including for ticket offices that customers no longer use - and a 32 hour, four day week. No employer can afford to meet those sorts of demands.

“We continue to urge them to call off the strike, put the new offer to their members and not subject Londoners to further unnecessary disruption. We remain available for talks at any time.”

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Mr Cash said: “Our members have made it clear that the latest offer from London Underground is merely a rehash of the previous package and does nothing to tackle the core issue which revolves around staff being at the beck and call of management to be hauled in during their free time to try and plug the staffing gaps which riddle the mayor’s Night Tube vanity project.”