Good news: This week's Tube strike has been called off

 
Emma Haslett
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Passengers jostle to enter the Undergrou
The Tube strike was called off by Aslef at the last minute. (Source: Getty)

A Tube strike which threatened to cripple the capital's underground network this Thursday has been called off.

Aslef, the union which represents thousands of Tube drivers, said its negotiators had made progress during talks with Transport for London (TfL).

"Our negotiating team believes they we have made sufficient progress in talks at Acas to recommend to the Aslef executive committee that the strike called for Thursday be suspended," said Finn Brennan, the union's organiser on the London Underground.

However, he added: "We have always been prepared to keep talking to resolve this dispute but Aslef always has, and always will, insist that management stick to agreements they make with us.

"Our ballot remains live and we will not hesitate to call action in the future if needed to ensure all the commitments made are fully delivered."

Drivers voted for the strike after a row over working conditions. They said although TfL agreed to reduce the number of shifts and weekend shifts they must work back in July, it had "repeatedly refused to make any detailed proposals to do so".

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How TfL and Sadiq Khan responded

Nigel Holness, director of network operations for London Underground, said: “I welcome Aslef’s decision to suspend its unnecessary strike action and I am pleased that customers will not have their journeys disrupted.

Since we agreed the pay deal last year we’ve delivered on all our commitments to provide the best possible work-life balance for our staff – we have completed a trial of a compressed four-day working week on the Jubilee line and drivers are working fewer weekend shifts.

“We have agreed to continue working with the trade unions to explore options that will further improve work-life balance for our staff.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I'm pleased that this strike action has been suspended and that discussions can continue without disruption.

"By talking constructively to TfL staff and acting on their concerns we've managed to improve the atrocious industrial relations legacy left by the previous mayor.

“This has led to a nearly 60 per cent reduction in the number of days lost to strikes on the underground since I became mayor – which means less disruption and frustration for commuters in London."

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Travel chaos averted

The end of the strike means "customers will not have their journeys disrupted" according to the London Underground.

TfL previously warned there was unlikely to be any service across most of the Tube network for the entire day during the 24-hour strike, which was set to begin at 11.30pm tomorrow night.

The transport authority said it was laying on over 200 extra buses and extra Santander Cycle hubs across the city.

The strike also threatened to cause major disruption to the England vs Slovenia game, which takes place at Wembley on Thursday. RMT had recommended that football fans avoid the Tube altogether, while Chiltern Rail said it would not call at Wembley Stadium.

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