London

RMT suspends strikes on London Underground

Information sign at Waterloo station Image copyright AFP
Image caption Station staff had been due to walk out from 18:00 GMT on Sunday

Two strikes which were set to cause major disruption on the London Underground (LU) for four days have been suspended.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT) had been due to walk out from Sunday evening in a row over staffing on the network.

General secretary Mick Cash said Tube bosses had agreed to reinstate nearly 60% of jobs which had been cut.

Another union previously called off the strikes after reaching an agreement.

Tube ticket office row resolved but at what cost?

Mr Cash said station staff numbers had been "slashed" by 953 when Boris Johnson was mayor of London but "533 of those jobs will have been reinstated".

He continued: "That is a tremendous victory and a reflection of the resilience and determination of our reps."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Large queues formed for buses around the capital during the last 24-hour strike
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Suburban trains also became very crowded as people tried to find alternatives to the Tube

Tube staff had been due to strike for 16 hours from 18:00 GMT on Sunday and then walk out for another 15 hours on Tuesday.

Similar action in January by the RMT and Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) led to the closure of much of the network.

On Monday, the TSSA announced it would not join the planned walk outs, saying that proposals offered by Tube bosses "paved the way for a resolution".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The TSSA announced on Monday it would not join the strikes

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he was "delighted" the strike had been called off.

He described it as "an excellent deal that will ensure commuters get the service they need... and it will fix the mess created by the previous mayor".

But Conservative London Assembly member Keith Prince said it appeared Sadiq Khan had "caved in and bought off the RMT by spending tens of millions of pounds on unnecessary jobs".

Image caption Ticket office closures were agreed under previous mayor Boris Johnson to help save costs

The mayor's office has said the proposals agreed with both unions would see an additional 325 new members of staff, 200 of whom will be in full-time positions.

Steve Griffiths, chief operating officer for LU, said Tube bosses "agree we need more staff in our stations".

"We will continue working with the unions... to help meet the needs of our customers and to ensure they feel safe, fully supported and able to access the right assistance at all times," he said.

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