Tube strike: Three-day walkout cancelled following RMT talks with London Underground

The agreement follows a disruptive two-day strike held last week

The RMT trade union has called off a three-day tube strike it had planned to commence on Bank Holiday Monday, following last-ditch negotiations with London Underground officials this morning. 

Union members planned the strike in protest against ticket office closures across the capital, but acting RMT general secretary Mick Cash said the talks lead to “significant progress on the issues at the heart of [the] dispute".

Phil Hufton, chief operating officer of London Underground, said in a statement following the successful negotiations that he is pleased Londonders would not have to “endure further strike action this week”.

The decision comes a week after a two-day strike held by RMT members caused widespread travel disruption in London, as the 3 million commuters that use London’s tube network every day resorted to alternative modes of transport.

Mr Cash said in a statement released after Monday's talks: “Due to the solidarity and determination of our LU members, and their delivery of rock-solid industrial action last week, we have been able to secure real movement and significant progress on the issues at the heart of this dispute in talks with the Tube management over the bank holiday weekend.

"Pre-conditions have been removed, protection of earnings has been agreed and we now have a viable framework for a proper review of the cuts and closures programme.

"As a result of that progress, secured directly through our members campaign of industrial action and the union's drive to get the facts across to the people of London, we are able to suspend the action due to commence this evening and further talks around the fundamental issues of cuts to jobs, services and safety will now take place."

Mr Hufton added: “The only way to resolve this dispute is for the RMT leadership to work with us to shape the future of the Tube in a changing world. It is good that they have committed to doing so alongside the three other unions involved.

"As we have always said, we are, of course, open to discuss any proposals our staff or the unions may offer.

"Modernisation of the Tube means that it is our intention to close all ticket offices, used in less than 3% of journeys, and instead deliver a vastly better customer service by bringing more staff than ever before out on to the concourses of stations at ticket machines, ticket gates and platforms - just as we delivered during the London 2012 Games.

"This will also allow us to save £50 million per annum to reinvest in better and more reliable train services and to keep fares down."

An Acas spokeman said: "We are pleased that we have been able to assist the parties to reach an understanding that allows the industrial action this week to be withdrawn."

Additional  reporting by PA

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