RMT Calls off Tube Strike Action

Commuters on the Tube. Pic: Tom Page

Commuters on the Tube. Pic: Tom Page

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union has called off the 3 day long strike action which had been scheduled to begin tonight, (5th May) at 21:00 following talks with London Underground at The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service.

In a letter to members the unions Acting General Secretary, Mike Cash, declared that ‘By standing strong, your resolve and unity has forced London Underground to back down.’

The union has declared that it has managed to negotiate some ‘very important concessions’ which include:

‘1.      The station by station review will continue with all the trades unions invited to participate and contribute, additionally the proposed Fit for the Future – Stations implementation plan will also be reviewed. This exercise should be completed by 23rd May 2014. During this period of discussion LU would continue to keep on hold all VS applications.

2.      The outcome of the exercise will be discussed at a meeting chaired by ACAS.

3.      LU would enter into further detailed discussions to ensure that any employees identified as in scope of the Fit for the Future – Stations proposals on 21 November 2013, and who do not choose to leave the business under voluntary severance, would be offered a role that involves no reduction in their current substantive salary. This arrangement would be specific to the Fit for the Future – Stations programme.’

Yet Phil Hufton, Chief Operating Officer of London Underground, has continued to state the importance of the modernisation plans to the network which include the controversial closure of all ticket offices and a plan to bring more staff than ever before out onto station concourses. 

This scheme, London Underground says, would save £50 million a year and create a more reliable service for London’s commuters.

Speaking after today’s strike was called off London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, has adamantly condemned last week’s strike action as ‘pointless’ arguing that there is no justification at all for holding London to ransom. Tomorrow the Government will announce their support for my proposals on ballot thresholds which will limit the power of unions to disrupt the capital in the future, on a whim and without majority support.’

Our reporter Sandra Glab spoke to commuters and members of the RMT Union during last week’s strike about this issue:
While commuters will be pleased that their journeys will not be inconvenienced this week , it is clear the underlying issues behind the strikes will continue to be a matter for political debate in the coming weeks.

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