London Underground Tube strikes called off
A series of strikes by Tube workers set to cause travel chaos for millions of commuters has been called off.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union were set to walk out next week and from June 13 in a row over the sacking of two drivers.
One of the sacked men, Bakerloo line driver Eamonn Lynch, has won his claim of unfair dismissal, while the other dismissed worker, Northern line driver Arwyn Thomas, is also taking a case to an employment tribunal.
London Underground announced earlier that the strikes were off followed talks between the company and RMT leaders.
The RMT initially dismissed the claim and said the strikes had not been called off but has now confirmed the action has been suspended.
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General secretary Bob Crow said: “This dispute has only ever been about securing justice for our members who have been unfairly dismissed.
“As a result of this agreement, Eamonn Lynch can return to work with his continuity of employment and standard of living protected.
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“We now also have an agreement to enter into further discussions with relation to Arwyn Thomas, aimed at resolving his unfair dismissal case in advance of his employment tribunal.”
Mike Brown, London Underground managing director, said: “As we’ve always said, there are established mechanisms in place to deal with individual disputes, and that is the process that has been followed here.
“Following a meeting with the RMT leadership this morning, the RMT have withdrawn their threat of industrial action, and we have avoided significant disruption for London.
“Responding to the results of the employment tribunal, not to the threat of strike action, London Underground has agreed to re-engage Mr Lynch in our employment in an alternative position and to discuss Mr Thomas’ case further ahead of the planned tribunal.
“We are pleased to have secured agreement from the RMT leadership to jointly engage in an independent review of industrial disputes in London Underground.”
London mayor Boris Johnson said: “I welcome the RMT’s decision to call off their industrial action and their recognition that flexing union muscle is completely unjustified and unnecessary.
“I am also pleased that the union has recognised that there was a significant safety breach in the case of Eamonn Lynch and that I, as mayor, will not tolerate the lives of Londoners being put at risk.
“It is right for London Underground management and the unions to strive to achieve a more constructive, long-term engagement and I wish to encourage that. The capital is rightly fed-up with pointless, futile and destructive strikes.”
Tell us your reaction to the Tube strikes being called off. Are you surprised the action has been suspended? What should happen to avoid the threat of future widespread disruption on the Underground? Share your views by posting your comments below.