Talks are going ahead this morning between Transport for London (TfL) and the RMT Union, which has asked its members to down tools next Tuesday for 48 hours in protest against Tube ticket office closures.
Mediator Acas, which has a 94 per cent success rate in resolving disputes, became involved yesterday after transport chiefs blasted the move by RMT as “pointless”.
Phil Hufton, London Underground’s chief operating officer, said: “We have been in consultation with the RMT and the other trade unions now for 11 months involving over 80 meetings on the details. This action and the timing of it – to coincide with public sector strikes that have nothing to do with London Underground – is cynical in the extreme.”
It could be RMT boss Mick Cash’s first strike as general secretary. He formally took over from the late Bob Crow last month. “The strike has been called as part of the long-running dispute over the loss of jobs, threat to working conditions and axing of ticket offices that are all part and parcel of the Mayor’s £4bn austerity cuts programme,” Cash said.
His decision to go ahead with strike action without the support of other unions is being seen as a bold move.
“We speak only for RMT members, but of course we know that our sister unions are deeply concerned about the cuts package,” Cash told City A.M.