RMT cancels this week’s London Tube Strike, but the dispute continues
Industrial action was planned for Tuesday in protest of changes to underground night services.
A tube strike that threatened to bring days of disruption to London this week has been suspended.
The transport union RMT announced that it was calling off the industrial action it planned to start on Tuesday, to allow talks to continue with London Underground at the conciliation service Acas.
The 11th-hour decision came after Transport for London had warned passengers of severe disruption to the transport system, with many lines closed from lunchtime. If talks at Acas do not reach a solution, strikes will continue for four days.
The dispute centers on changes to London’s night-tue service. This was cut during the pandemic. The union claimed that the separate pool of night-time drivers would be eliminated, as it would reduce part-time work and harm work-life balance.
TfL stated that the changes would make it easier to run all tube services efficiently. No driver would be fired or forced to take on additional duties as a result.
Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT, stated that “Following extensive, wide-ranging discussions through Acas machinery we have hammered enough ground to permit those talks to continue.” This week’s strike action has been suspended. However, the rest of the planned action will continue.
“I would like to thank our members, our reps, whose unity has allowed us reach this stage today. We look forward to continuing to pursue the important issues at heart of the dispute in the next round of negotiations.”
Richard Jones, head network operations for London Underground said that: “We are pleased by the RMT’s decision to suspend their action in order to allow for further discussions.
“We are confident that the roster changes have been beneficial for London Underground train drivers as well as the services we provide to London after the pandemic. We look forward to continuing discussions.”
TfL reports that 41 drivers are able to continue working part-time while 173 drivers who were previously employed as part-time workers have chosen to move to full-time jobs. TfL stated that services will continue as usual this week, though major engineering work may still be affected by Circle and District line trains.
Transport for Greater Manchester has advised passengers that it may have to temporarily cut tram service due to Covid-related staff absentees. From Friday, the interval between Metrolink trams is set to increase to 12 minutes.
TfGM’s Metrolink head, Danny Vaughan said that the “pingdemic”, was having a major impact on multiple sectors. “Moving to temporary 12-minute frequencies will ensure we can operate an more reliable service and relieve some of the pressure employees are under, which, is extremely important for them, their own wellbeing.”