Tube strikes cancelled after breakthrough in talks

Image above: London Underground

Week of strikes avoided on London Underground

The RMT has suspended all strike action planned for next week on London Underground, after making “significant progress” in the pensions and jobs dispute.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union has been locked in ACAS talks with TfL, trying to find a resolution to the longstanding pensions jobs and working conditions dispute. ACAS, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service is an independent body which works with millions of employers and employees every year to improve workplace relationships.

After pressure from union negotiators and the threat to bring the capital to a standstill for a week, significant concessions were made by TfL where their original plans for jobs cuts and pension changes will not be carried out.

There are now longer guarantees on protection of earnings, no pension changes for at least 3 years and so-called productivity proposals which would have damaged the terms and conditions of RMT members have been halted.

Image above: Unite General Secretary Mick Lynch

“This is not the end of the dispute”

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said:

“There has been significant progress made by our negotiating team in ACAS talks with TfL.

“However this is not the end of the dispute nor is it a victory for the union as yet.

”Our members were prepared to engage in significant disruptive industrial action and I commend their resolve.

“RMT’s strike mandate remains live until October and we are prepared to use it if necessary.

”We will continue to negotiate in good faith as we always have done with TfL and it was only the steadfast commitment of our members in being prepared to take sustained strike action that has forced the employer to make significant concessions.

“Our campaign to defend jobs, conditions and our members pensions will continue in the coming weeks and months.”

Image above: Chiswick Park Tube Station; Photograph Ljubina Woods

“Really welcome news for Londoners”

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the suspension of strikes was “really welcome news for Londoners”, adding:

“Despite the onerous funding deal conditions imposed by the government, we have managed to avoid industrial action.

“Negotiation is always the best way forward, and this shows what we can achieve by working with trade unions.”

TfL’s chief operating officer Glynn Barton said:

“This is good news for London and we will continue to work closely with our trade unions to discuss the issues and seek a resolution.”

In a statement, TfL said it: “has provided assurance that there are no current proposals to change pension arrangements” and any future proposals “would require appropriate consultation and extensive further work”.

It added: “no employee will lose their job or be asked to work additional hours” as part of the range of proposals being considered.