Talks between Transport for London (TfL) and unions are continuing today, in an effort to avoid strike action which will bring the Tube grinding to a halt causing disruption for thousands of passengers.
The clock is ticking on last-ditch talks seeking an agreement on a new pay deal offered yesterday by TfL, as the deadline for the strike to begin – 6.30pm on Wednesday – fast approaches.
The unions are mulling over an offer which would give them a two per cent pay rise this year as well as £2,000 for drivers and £500 for other staff working on the night Tube services.
TfL has said it is their final offer.
Talks between the two sides, which have been convened by Acas and went on until 10pm last night, could run down to the wire, but if the unions decide to turn down the offer, it's unlikely there will be a way forward for negotiations meaning the strike would go ahead.
"Our customers are advised to check the TfL website for the latest information as we seek to resolve the dispute and to keep London moving should the unions go ahead with their action. We are available for talks at Acas all day," said London Underground chief operating officer Steve Griffiths.
Aslef, one of the four unions representing drivers, claim the new pay offer is no longer in play after the unions were given a deadline of 6.30pm yesterday to respond to the offer and have insisted that the strike will go ahead.
"Aslef have continued in contact with Acas this morning and remain ready to discuss any offer London Underground make. For three months they didn’t change their position, then they gave four trade unions one afternoon to unconditionally accept an offer before withdrawing it. That means there is currently no offer from London Underground on the table," said Aslef's lead negotiator Finn Brennan.
However, TfL said the offer remains open after the unions responded, saying there was not enough time for its members to properly consider the pay deal, and that there had ben no threat of the offer being withdrawn.