RMT union talks avert Tube strikes

The RMT union has agreed not to proceed with a ballot of its 11,000 members on the Tube network after London mayor Ken Livingstone made several concessions on various key security issues in a meeting last night.

Tube drivers had threatened to strike if rail guards were not reintroduced on Tube trains and safety equipment including breathing apparatus was not made available to all staff, and they wanted a guarantee that there would be no cuts in the number of station staff.

The demands came following the terrorist attacks on the Tube network three weeks ago.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said the mayor had made a commitment that overall staffing levels on the London Underground would not be reduced, and neither would fire safety precautions.

The mayor also agreed that any train that did not have a radio in working order would not be put in use, and that the procedures to identify suspect packages would be reviewed.

However, he would not back down on the issue of Tube guards, saying that he would rather see armed police on trains.


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