Two separate Tube strikes planned for this week have been postponed, after the drivers’ union decided to hold more talks with Transport for London (TfL).
London was set for travel chaos tomorrow, with a 24-hour drivers’ strike scheduled to begin at midday that was expected to affect the entire network.
TfL wants to scrap the Night Tube pay grade for drivers, sparking recriminations from the union.
Strikes were also planned for Thursday, along with two other days later this month.
In a statement released this afternoon, The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Following extensive and wide ranging discussions through the ACAS machinery we have hammered out enough ground to allow those talks to continue. As a result this week’s strike action is suspended although the rest of the planned action remains on.
“I want to thank our members and our reps whose unity and determination has allowed us to reach this stage today and we look forward to pursuing the important issues at the heart of this dispute in the next phase of talks. “
TfL has assured drivers that there will be no job losses on the Night Tube, despite the fact that it has not yet restarted post-Covid.
The transport body is planning to spread Night Tube duties across all drivers instead of having dedicated workers on these shifts at higher wages.
Earlier today, Lynch said: “We believe that there is a deal to be done which recognises the work-life balance and job security of our members and we are entering the re-convened talks this morning in a positive frame of mind and we take it that London Underground management also will be up for a constructive solution to this dispute.
“RMT’s executive has been put on standby for any developments emerging from the ACAS talks later today and we will be issuing further updates in due course.”
A Sadiq Khan spokesperson said: “I urge the RMT to continue discussions to avoid this disruption to Londoners and the capital.”
Keith Prince, GLA Conservatives transport spokesman, said that the strike was the “last thing London needs”.
“The mayor has one job to help London recover from Covid – get our city moving again. We desperately need to encourage commuters and tourists back into the capital, but his failure to reach an agreement with RMT risks keeping people away. This damaging industrial action couldn’t come at a worse time.”