Tube strike: action next week likely to go ahead as London Underground and unions fail to agree

The unions and London Underground will talk again on Monday after the Friday meeting was adjourned with no conclusion

Click to follow
The Independent Online

It is likely that industrial action will go ahead next week, after talks between unions and Transport for London (TfL) aimed at preventing a second round of 48-hour strikes were adjourned until Monday.

The negotiations followed two days of strikes which caused widespread travel disruption in the capital, ending on Thursday evening.

The next set of strikes will go ahead from the evening of 11 February, unless a deal can be made on Monday.

Members of the unions withdrew their labour in protest at plans to close ticket offices at tube stations across , which could see nearly 1,000 jobs lost.

Officials from The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) unions met London Underground (LU) spokespeople at the session.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), a body which helps to resolve workplace disputes, confirmed that the talks were adjourned so both parties could “consider their positions”.

“All parties have agreed to continue with further discussions on Monday," it added.


RMT leader Bob Crow confirmed that strike action was going ahead on Tuesday, and said there will be no further statements from RMT before Monday. 

London Mayor Boris Johnson has so far ignored calls from unions to meet them and discuss the controversial closures, and said he will only meet if they halt industrial action.

He described the industrial action as ”pointless and unnecessary,“ and called for a ban on industrial action affecting London transport, unless it was supported by more than 50 per cent of union members eligible to be balloted.

During the strikes from Tuesday to Thursday, travellers had to deal with a limited service and complained of long queues across the transports services in the capital.

Union leaders accused Transport for London (TfL) of under-estimating the impact of a 48-hour strike over controversial plans to close all Tube ticket offices.

London Underground (LU) said at the time it was operating train services on eight out of 11 lines despite the "completely unnecessary" strike.