Londoners concerned about travelling around the city next week, with the impending strike action, can breathe a sigh of relief. But it’s bad news for those who thought they might get some extra work-from-home days… In the wake of successful last-minute talks with TfL, both RMT and Aslef have come to an agreement regarding some of the concerns of their union members. As such, the tube strikes that were planned to commence on Tuesday, July 25, have been cancelled.
Faced with the possibility of the city’s underground public transport system all but coming to a complete halt, TfL were finally able to find a solution. According to RMT,
[S]ignificant concessions were made by TfL where their original plans for jobs cuts and pension changes will not be carried out.
There are now longer guarantees on protection of earnings, no pension changes for at least 3 years and so-called productivity proposals which would have damaged the terms and conditions of RMT members have been halted.
Said Mick Lynch, RMT general secretary:
There has been significant progress made by our negotiating team in ACAS talks with TfL.
However this is not the end of the dispute nor is it a victory for the union as yet.
Our members were prepared to engage in significant disruptive industrial action and I commend their resolve.
RMT’s strike mandate remains live until October and we are prepared to use it if necessary.
We will continue to negotiate in good faith as we always have done with TfL and it was only the steadfast commitment of our members in being prepared to take sustained strike action that has forced the employer to make significant concessions.
Our campaign to defend jobs, conditions and our members pensions will continue in the coming weeks and months.
RMT’s strike action would have seen rolling strike action suspending service across the Tube, with impacts felt from July 23-29. Meanwhile, Aslef’s strike action would have seen train drivers walking out on July 26 and 28. Both groups are now suspending all of the planned Tube strike action in the wake of the breakthrough in negotiations.
Said Finn Brennan, ASLEF’s organiser on the Underground:
After a week of intense negotiations, we have made real progress in making sure our members’ working conditions and pensions are protected from the impact of the Tory government cuts to TfL funding.
There will be no changes to pension benefits before the next general election. And any future changes to working conditions and agreements will only be made by negotiation.
This is a major step forward.
While this is good news for Londoners taking local trips, it looks like the planned national rail action will still be taking place. This will see rail services affected by industrial action on July 22 and 29.