Tube strike cancelled less than 12 hours before it was due to start

A planned Tube strike that would have brought the London Underground to a halt on Wednesday and Friday has been called off at the last minute by the RMT union.

The dispute was over jobs and safety. More than 3,000 workers were expected to walk out on 4 and 6 October.

Discussions at the conciliation service, Acas, proved successful in making what the RMT called “significant progress” in the dispute. Further negotiations are planned.

The union said in a statement: “Following talks at Acas, RMT 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.”

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT, said: “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.

“We still remain in dispute over outstanding issues around pensions and working agreements and will continue to pursue a negotiated settlement.”

Nick Dent, London Underground’s director of customer pperations, said: “We are pleased that the RMT has withdrawn its planned industrial action this week and that the dispute on our change proposals in stations is now resolved.

“This is good news for London and we will continue to work closely with our trade unions as we evolve London Underground to ensure we can continue to support the capital in the most effective way.”

Nationally, the RMT is still in dispute with 14 train operators over pay and working arrangements. Discussions are taking place to try to avoid further strikes in a campaign of industrial action that began in June 2021.

Separately, a national rail strike by train drivers on Wednesday will still cause widespread problems for commuters to, from and within the capital.

The parallel dispute involving train drivers belonging to the Aslef union looks far from over. Before the 14th strike by train drivers since summer 2022, Aslef’s general secretary, Mick Whelan, said rail firms and ministers were staging “a land grab for terms and conditions right across the board for a 20 per cent pay cut”.

Mark Harper, the transport secretary told the Conservative conference: “They don’t care how many thousands of pounds their members lose in pay, as long as Mick Whelan still sits on Labour’s National Executive Committee.”