Tube strike called off: Tranport unions suspend action after London Underground agree full review of ticket office closures decision - Home News - UK - The Independent

Tube strike called off: Tranport unions suspend action after London Underground agree full review of ticket office closures decision

 

A planned 48-hour London Tube strike, which would have caused disruption to millions of the capital's commuters, has been cancelled just hours before it was due to begin after the two unions involved won apparent concessions from London Underground.

The strike was due to begin at 9pm this evening after talks aimed at resolving the dispute over the proposed closure of ticket offices appeared to have failed.

However, in a dramatic development the RMT and TSSA unions agreed to suspend the industrial action.

The transport unions are opposed to controversial London Underground plans to close 260 ticket offices with the possible loss of 950 jobs.

Full details of the agreement are unclear, but it is believed the TSSA and the RMT accepted an offer that includes  an extended consultation period over ticket office closures and a freeze on the processing of voluntary redundancy applications.

Crucially, according to Transport for London a formal review of ticket office closures will take place on a station by station basis, meaning that some could remain open.

The decision to review each of the station closures and the admission that some may remain open has been interpreted as a significant concession to the unions.

The details of the deal include:

- That the unions will suspend this week's strike action.

- Two months of intensive talks during which time there will be no further industrial action.

- A review, station by station, of LU's proposals which could result in some ticket offices remaining open.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said unions had received proposals that halted implementation of job cuts, so that discussions can be held "away from the pressure cooker".

Mr Crow said: "After two days of intensive and detailed discussions through the offices of Acas we have now received proposals that halt the implementation of the job cuts which gives us the opportunity to discuss all of the issues away from the pressure cooker.

"We now have a golden opportunity to look again in detail at all of the concerns we have raised about the impact of the cuts on our members and the services that they provide to Londoners. That is exactly what we have been calling for throughout this dispute.

RMT leader Bob Crow RMT leader Bob Crow "RMT is happy to discuss any issues with LU through the machinery of negotiation and we are glad that we have now got back to where we should have been right at the start of this process.

"It is unfortunate that we were forced and provoked into a dispute that we never wanted and we are now in a position to move on with the clear understanding that our action is suspended but if there is any further attempt to impose change from above the action will go back on."

A TSSA spokesman said: "We have now agreed a process where all our serious concerns over safety and job losses will be seriously addressed through the normal channels.

"We are obviously pleased that we have agreed this process."

John Woods, deputy chief conciliator at Acas, said: "We welcome the news that the proposed industrial action has been withdrawn. We want to thank all the parties involved for their hard work and commitment over 10 days of intensive talks with Acas."

The Federation of Small Businesses estimated that last week's action cost small firms in the capital £600 million in lost working hours, business and productivity.

Londoners were bracing for further disruption following action last week that saw what the RMT described as 'lethal overcrowding' .

Earlier today Fulham football club warned that strike action could lead to the cancellation of their Premier League match.

LU managing director Mike Brown said: "We welcome the constructive talks at Acas today and await confirmation from the RMT and TSSA that their strike action is suspended.

"We have always said that we want the unions to engage fully with us, to help shape our proposals for the future of the Tube.

"The hard work of both the LU and union negotiating teams and the progress we have made at Acas over the last few days means we can now do that without further unnecessary disruption to Londoners."

LU repeated that it planned to have staff based in ticket halls, on gate lines and on platforms rather than in ticket offices, adding that changes would be implemented without compulsory redundancies.

 

RMT said that this image showed 'lethal overcrowding' as a result of Tube services overstretched by union strike action RMT said that this image showed 'lethal overcrowding' as a result of Tube services overstretched by union strike action The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "I'm pleased the TSSA and the RMT have agreed to call off their planned strike following talks with Transport for London. It means further unnecessary disruption to London and Londoners has been averted.

"TfL's negotiators have been ready since November to discuss the detail around ticket office closures and wider modernisation of the Tube. It's welcome news that the unions appear to recognise that, and will return to full and substantive discussions with TfL between now and the end of the consultation period in early April.

"Modernisation is essential if we are to properly serve the millions of Londoners who rely on the Tube every day, and who expect a bigger, better service that offers value for money whilst protecting future investment.

"It is essential that our hard-working and dedicated staff, who are vital to the delivery of that vision, understand the changes we are proposing.

"Sitting down to discuss those proposals, free from the prospect of strike action, was always the only sensible way forward. I'm grateful to TfL's negotiating team and pleased the unions agree this is the right way forward."

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) estimated that last week's action cost small firms in the capital £600 million in lost working hours, business and productivity.

Transport for London has said the proposals to close ticket offices will save £50million a year and that it has the backing of 82 per cent of Londoners.

But a survey of 1,000 tube users for the RMT suggested that almost two thirds of passengers believe strike action is justified.


Watch Boris Johnson apologise for the last tube strike

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
News
i100
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Manager (retail, upgrades, rollouts)

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...

Project Manager (upgrades, rollouts, migrations)

£350 - £425 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project Manager - 3 mont...

IT Administrator - Graduate

£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

Year 4 Teacher

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Year 4 Teacher - NestonRandsta...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week