RMT agrees to Acas talks to avert further Tube strikes

The RMT union has agreed to informal talks at conciliation service Acas with London Underground (LUL) today in a bid to avert further strike action over safety fears over new staff rosters.

Tube drivers enraged commuters and party-goers on New Year’s Eve by striking and a second stoppage is due to take place on 8 January.

The union has offered to suspend action in exchange for the suspension of new rosters that management intend to introduce in February “to allay safety fears”.

RMT general secretary, Bob Crow, said that the rosters that LUL intends to impose would reduce the number of station staff on duty at any one time, leaving many stations with insufficient cover, especially in emergencies.

“The new rosters were not a part of the 35-hour week agreement we signed in good faith last year, and we do not seek to renegotiate that deal,” he said.

“The number of staff being displaced is many times the 200 we were told would be the case during negotiations.”

Mike Brown, LUL’s chief operating officer, said: “Does anyone really expect that, after Underground staff behaved magnificently in the response to the 7 July attacks, we would ever want to operate a system that was less safe?”

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