New Year Tube strike plan is suspended


Planned New Year strikes on London's Tube network have been suspended while talks on a bank holiday pay row take place.

The dispute between train drivers' union Aslef and London Underground led to a 24-hour strike on Boxing Day which saw key lines serving central London knocked out or operating a severely reduced service.

The union has been seeking "adequate compensation" for working on Boxing Day, saying it had been offered no extra pay. It also wanted Tube drivers to be able to volunteer to work on such an "unsociable" day.

London Underground had called on Aslef to abandon the strikes, saying its "outrageous" claim for triple pay and a day off in lieu for working Boxing Day went against an agreement all unions were signed up to.

Announcing that strikes on January 16 and February 3 and 13 had been suspended, Aslef general secretary Mick Whelan said: "This decision has been taken on the basis that meaningful talks will begin next week with LUL management over future staffing arrangements for drivers working on Boxing Days in the future."

London Underground said talks had been "constructive" with more talks to be held next week.

LU's chief operating officer Howard Collins said: "I welcome the constructive approach taken by the leadership of Aslef at our discussions today. I look forward to further constructive talks next week, as we work to resolve this issue."