Tube strikes: Delays for morning rush hour commuters despite last-minute walkout suspension

Tube strikes: Delays for morning rush hour commuters despite last-minute walkout suspension

Strikes by London Underground workers which would have crippled Tube services this week have been suspended following progress in talks over a pay dispute.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union were due to walk out on Sunday night in protest at a five per cent pay offer from Transport for London.

Passengers had been warned to expect little to no underground trains from about 5.30pm on Sunday until Friday (January 12).

However, the RMT has now called off the strikes after making progress in its negotiations with TfL.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, transport bosses said: “Services will be disrupted this evening and tomorrow morning, and customers should ensure they check their journeys before travelling.”

Delays were reported on several services early on Monday morning, but they did not appear to be related to the earlier planned strike.

As of 8.45am, there were severe delays on the entire Bakerloo Line, and minor delays on the London Overground between Euston and Watford Junction, which TfL said on its website were due to "a late finish of engineering work".

There were also severe delays on the Piccadilly Line due to an earlier fire alert at South Kensington.

There were minor delays on the Circle Line "due to a shortage of trains", while minor delays on the Elizabeth Line between Hayes and Harlington were put down to a broken rail in the Twyford area.

City Hall previously predicted this week's planned strikes would have cost London’s hospitality industry £50million.

Commuters during previous strike (PA) (PA Archive)
Commuters during previous strike (PA) (PA Archive)

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Following further positive discussions today, the negotiations on a pay deal for our London Underground members can now take place on an improved basis and mandate with significant further funding for a settlement being made available.

“This significantly improved funding position means the scheduled strike action will be suspended with immediate effect and we look forward to getting into urgent negotiations with TfL in order to develop a suitable agreement and resolution to the dispute.”

A Transport for London spokesperson said: “Last week, we discussed our pay offer extensively with the three trade unions that had rejected it, making clear that TfL cannot afford any more. This remains the case.

“Today, we were made aware that the mayor was able to provide additional funds to enable discussions with the unions to continue. We have all consistently made clear that strike action is bad for everyone and would have a negative impact on the city as it recovers from the pandemic.

“This intervention from the mayor has been discussed with the unions, and the RMT union has now suspended the planned strike action.

“However, as the action has been suspended at this late stage, Londoners will still face disruption tomorrow and we advise all customers to check the TfL website or the TfL Go app for the latest travel information.

“We will now meet with representatives of all the unions to agree on the best way for this funding to be used to resolve the current dispute. We will also seek to meet as soon as possible with the unions representing TfL staff.

“We always strive to work constructively with the unions and avoid disruption to London.”

London mayor Sadiq Khan responded: “I’m delighted that this week’s Tube strikes have now been suspended.

“They would have caused huge disruption for Londoners and would have been a major blow to the capital’s businesses at the worst possible time.

“The week of action would have cost our hospitality industry £50 million alone.

“This shows what can be achieved by engaging and working with trade unions and transport staff, rather than working against them.

“In contrast, the adversarial approach taken by ministers has led to years of strikes across the country, whether on national rail, or in our health and education services – all exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis.

“The suspension of strikes is really good news as commuters return after the new year.”

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner added: “Great news from that this week’s Tube strikes are suspended. Labour in power engaging with unions and transport staff for the benefit of all.”