Talks bid to end Tube row amid travel chaos

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The Independent Online

Talks at resolving a dispute which has led to a crippling strike on London Underground are to be held later today.

The development came as most Tube services were cancelled after 2,300 members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union walked out at 6pm yesterday for a 72-hour strike linked to the collapse of maintenance giant Metronet.

The union said it will meet Metronet, Transport for London and the company's administrator later today to try to resolve the bitter dispute over jobs and pensions.

General secretary Bob Crow said: "As a result of discussions last night with London Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy, talks will now take place.

"This is a positive development and we hope that Metronet and its administrator will now take our members' legitimate concerns seriously."

Mr Crow said Metronet and the administrator should now seriously address the concerns of workers affected by the financial collapse of the consortium.

"It is five weeks since we gave the company notice that we were balloting over the issues involved, yet there was no sense of urgency until it became clear that our members were determined to win the unequivocal guarantees we are seeking.

"Our members have shown their determination by delivering a rock-solid strike and, pending any positive outcome from today's talks, it will remain on."

Most of the Tube network was at a standstill today, causing travel chaos for millions of commuters and visitors to London.

There were no services on nine out of the network's 12 lines. Huge queues built up at bus stops and the three lines not affected by the strike - Northern, Jubilee and Piccadilly - were crowded.