Tube strike called off

A 72-hour strike which would have seriously disrupted services on the London Underground was called off tonight after an improved pay offer was made.

Around 1,000 members of the RMT transport union had been due to walk out from noon tomorrow in a pay-and-conditions dispute with Underground maintenance company Tube Lines.

The strike would have hit services on the Piccadilly, Northern and Jubilee lines and was likely also to have affected the travel plans of thousands of football fans going to Wembley for tomorrow night's England international friendly.

But last-ditch talks between the RMT and Tube Lines bosses today resulted in an improved pay offer.

The RMT said tonight that it had suspended tomorrow's action and would be putting the new offer to members in a ballot with the recommendation that they accepted the improved deal.

The RMT had also called a second 72-hour strike which had been due to start on September 3 and which will now almost certainly not go ahead.

The calling-off of the strike will come as some relief to London Mayor Boris Johnson who earlier today urged both sides to settle their differences over what he described as "a relatively trivial dispute".

The suspension of the action will also be welcomed by big business.

Earlier today the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry described the strike as "completely irresponsible" and said they looked to Mr Johnson to come up with a practical solution.

Terry Morgan, chief executive of Tube Lines, said: "This is a good deal for Tube Lines. We are pleased that, following constructive discussions with the RMT today, we have been able to agree in principle a two-year deal that will satisfy all parties."

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