On Tuesday 3 October, workers on the London Underground suspended their latest round of strike action over pay and conditions after a breakthrough in talks.
Tube staff had been due to walk out on Wednesday 4 and Friday 5 October. This threatened to disrupt travel for millions of passengers, as the industrial action would have coincided with similar stoppages on the rail network – which are still set to go ahead.
London Underground breakthrough
The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said the strike by 3,000 of its members had been suspended after “significant progress” in negotiations with bosses. Talks to resolve the long-running dispute have been taking place between RMT negotiators and London Underground Limited (LUL) representatives, with the help of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service service (Acas).
RMT announced in a press release that it:
has managed to save key jobs, prevent detrimental changes to rosters and secure protection of earnings around grading changes.
The significant progress means that key elements have been settled although there remains wider negotiations to be had in the job, pensions and working agreements dispute.
‘Unity and industrial power’
Unions across the country have held frequent strike action since last year to push for better pay and conditions. On 3 October alone, there were strikes by bus drivers, hospital doctors and radiographers, train drivers, and refuse collectors.
The Conservative government, which is holding its annual conference this week, has insisted that union demands are unaffordable. However, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch hailed London Underground workers’ victory as a vindication of the power of unity and industrial action.
I congratulate all our members who were prepared to take strike action and our negotiations team for securing this victory in our tube dispute.Without the unity and industrial power of our members, there is no way we would have been able to make the progress we have.
Despite the recent breakthrough, the threat of further action still hangs over the heads of LUL bosses. The RMT remains in pursuit of a settlement, with disputes over pensions and working agreements still ongoing.
Likewise, UK rail passengers will still face disruption this week. Wednesday 4 October’s rail strike is going ahead, with no trains running on most routes in England. This will mark the 14th day of action from Aslef – the train drivers union – since June 2022, and coincides with the final day of the Tory Party conference.
Additional reporting via Agence France-Presse.
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