13 Days Remaining

Saturday 4th
posted by Paddy McGuffin in Britain

TOMORROW’S strikes to defend jobs on the London Underground have been suspended after Tube bosses rolled back their cuts programme.

Members of Tube union RMT had been due to walk out for 16 hours from 6pm tomorrow and again for 15 hours from 10am on Tuesday.

But the threat of an intensification of last month’s walkout, which flung London transport into chaos, forced management to reverse almost 60 per cent of their original cuts plans during talks at conciliation service Acas.

Around 900 station staff jobs were cut and Tube ticket offices closed under previous London mayor Boris Johnson.

But the RMT won the reinstatement of 533 jobs and the reopening of control rooms.

“The fighting stance taken by RMT members since the jobs cull on our Tube stations was first announced has reversed nearly 60 per cent of those savage cuts,” said general secretary Mick Cash.

“That is a tremendous victory and a reflection of the resilience and determination of our reps and the membership right across London Underground.

“We will now continue to work on implementation of the new staffing arrangements at the local level and, as always, RMT remains eternally vigilant.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan — who branded the January walkout “unnecessary,” blaming unions for not ploughing on with the fruitless Acas talks — said: “Like all commuters in London I’m delighted that we have been able to get the Tube strikes suspended — it shows what we can achieve by talking and engaging with staff.

“This is an excellent deal that will ensure commuters get the service they need at Underground stations, and it will fix the mess created by the previous mayor.”

The mayor’s office said an agreement had been made between Transport for London, the RMT and the felow Tube union TSSA for an additional 325 members of staff, of whom 200 will be full time.

Acas deputy chief conciliator John Woods said: “Acas would like to thank the teams of London Underground, RMT and TSSA for their patience and perseverance these past six weeks in helping resolve this very complex dispute.”

London Underground chief operating officer Steve Griffiths was “pleased” to have reached an agreement with both unions.

“We agree that we need more staff in our stations and we will be recruiting at least 650 new station staff this year, of which 325 will be additional new roles,” he said.

“The remainder will comprise supervisor and customer service assistant roles and are expected to be a mix of both full time and part time.”

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