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Tube strike cancelled after unions agree deal

There was chaos caused by the strikes last week (Picture: David Mirzoeff)

There was chaos caused by the strikes last week (Picture: David Mirzoeff)

Archant

Both the TSSA and RMT unions say they have agreed to suspend the second Tube strike after reaching a deal over ticket office closures.

The 48-hour industrial action on London Underground, the second in a week, was due to start tonight.

The TSSA tweeted just before midday saying: “We’ve suspended #tubestrike as have agreed a process where all our serious concerns over safety and job losses can be addressed.

“Pleased that agreement on process lets us suspend #tubestrike immediately and cancel it later when agreement reaches us formally.”

Fellow union the RMT, which was also due to walkout, released a statement an hour later saying they also agreed to suspend strike action.

Talks have been ongoing at conciliation service ACAS between TfL and union leaders to try and prevent the strikes, which caused chaos in London last week.

It released a statement this morning saying talks had adjourned while London Underground write to unions with ‘some proposals to end this dispute’.

It added: “We are hopeful of a positive response so that the proposed industrial action will be withdrawn.”

EDIT 12.55pm: TSSA tweet to say why they agreed to suspend strike action, with a review planned by TfL into the job losses, writing: “New process will review staffing requirements at stations rather than impose standard proposals.”

EDIT 1pm: Here is the full statement by RMT leader Bob Crow on the union’s decision to suspend strike action:

“After two days of intensive and detailed discussions through the offices of ACAS we have now received proposals that halt the implementation of the job cuts set out in the HR1 document which gives us the opportunity to discuss all of the issues away from the pressure cooker.

“We now have a golden opportunity to look again in detail at all of the concerns we have raised about the impact of the cuts on our members and the services that they provide to Londoners. That is exactly what we have been calling for throughout this dispute.

“RMT is happy to discuss any issues with London Underground through the machinery of negotiation and we are glad that we have now got back to where we should have been right at the start of this process.

“It is unfortunate that we were forced and provoked into a dispute that we never wanted and we are now in a position to move on with the clear understanding that our action is suspended but if there is any further attempt to impose change from above the action will go back on.”

EDIT 1.20pm: The RMT put out a statement to members saying they are ‘instructed to work normally’ after all industrial action was suspended after a proposal from London Underground.

It went on to say a consultation period, starting tomorrow until April 4, will take place on the London Underground ‘Fit for the Future – Stations’ proposals, during which the RMT and TSSA would ‘withdraw all industrial action called to date’.

Bob Crow confirmed: “All parties would commit to return to ACAS on week ending April 4 to report on progress.”

EDIT 1.30pm: A statement from the TSSA says there will be a ‘station by station review’ on the ticket office closures.

It added: “The agreement gives us nearly two months to discuss the proposals in great detail, with management providing a number of assurances on how these will progress.

“This process will include a station-by-station review, including the question of ticket office closures, which could result in some ticket offices remaining open.

“The company have also agreed not to implement any further proposals contained in their station restructuring plans whilst these talks take place.”

EDIT 1.40pm: Boris Johnson said he was ‘pleased’ the unions agreed to call-off the strike, saying ‘further unnecessary disruption to London and Londoners has been averted’.

The Mayor of London said in a statement: “TfLs negotiators have been ready since November to discuss the detail around ticket office closures and wider modernisation of the tube.

“It’s welcome news that the unions appear to recognise that, and will return to full and substantive discussions with TfL between now and the end of the consultation period in early April.

“Modernisation is essential if we are to properly serve the millions of Londoners who rely on the tube every day, and who expect a bigger, better service that offers value for money whilst protecting future investment.

“It is essential that our hard-working and dedicated staff, who are vital to the delivery of that vision, understand the changes we are proposing.

“Sitting down to discuss those proposals, free from the prospect of strike action, was always the only sensible way forward. I’m grateful to TfLs negotiating team and pleased the unions agree this is the right way forward.”

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