Tube strike for next week called off

The RMT's 48-hour strike was due to go ahead next week

Strike called off by tube workers

A planned 48-hour strike by London Underground workers in a long-running dispute over Tube ticket office closures has been called off.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union were due to walk out at 9pm on Tuesday, threatening travel chaos for commuters.

The RMT said the action had been suspended after "substantial progress" in talks at conciliation service ACAS, but London Underground insisted it had made no new offers.

The union said LU had agreed to hold further consultations on the planned closures and cut the number of job losses, and had given guarantees on pay and other issues. Words:PA

But LU said everything the RMT referred to was on offer before the strike was threatened.

In an internal bulletin, LU said: "We have always said that we are ready and willing to discuss our proposals with our colleagues in the trades unions. That's why we have held over 80 meetings in the past 11 months and why we will continue consultation throughout the implementation phase of the

"We've already seen good progress through the process of consultation, including the number of post reductions falling from 953 to 897. We anticipate this will reduce even further through the process of continued discussions and local consultation.

"Those station staff who have a medical restriction confirmed by London Underground Occupational Health at the point of mapping into a new role will, of course, have a right to the salary and location guarantee - just like everyone else who we've made this guarantee to. Considering and accommodating the needs of team members who have medical restrictions has been a top priority from the beginning of this process and it will remain so.

"Our Fit For The Future - Stations proposals will transform our customers' experience when they enter our stations. We remain committed to the principles at the heart of our proposals."

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "Thanks to both the solidarity and determination of our members, and the hard work of our negotiators in the Acas talks, RMT has been able to secure significant movement in three key areas which have allowed our executive to suspend both the action scheduled for next week and the ongoing overtime ban.

"The substantial improvements we have agreed allow us to move forwards but the union's core opposition to the austerity-led cuts on London Underground has not shifted an inch and we remain vigilant to further developments and their impact."

Phil Hufton, chief operating officer of London Underground, said: "I am pleased that Londoners will not have to endure unnecessary strike action next week.

"Although it was not made clear why the RMT called for strike action on Monday evening, we met with them at Acas yesterday and the good news is that, by providing some basic clarity, the threatened strike and the current overtime ban have now been withdrawn.

"Nothing positive would be achieved through this strike action and this threat had no logic to it what so ever apart from attempting to disrupt hard working Londoners and their members losing two days' pay.

"We will continue to consult with staff and trades unions while we implement our proposals to modernise and improve the Tube service for our customers. In future we will have more staff than ever before visible and available to help our customers buy the right ticket or use their contactless payment card, plan their journeys and keep them safe and secure."

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