London Tube strikes: Aslef, RMT and Unite call off action after ‘progress’ talks with TfL

Members at the three unions will no longer walk out over a week in July, after “real progress” was made in talks with TfL on pension reform.
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A week of strike action among London Underground workers has been called off as unions take “a major step forward” in their talks with Transport for London (TfL). Members of Aslef, RMT and Unite were set to throw the capital’s transport network into chaos next week with a series of overlapping strike dates.

The unions were planning to take action over proposed changes to staff pensions, a review of which was a condition of the government’s bailout of TfL during Covid. However, a TfL spokesperson said it has now provided assurance “there are no current proposals to change pension arrangements”, with any future changes to require consultation.

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Finn Brennan, Aslef’s organiser on the London Underground, said “real progress” was made after a week of negotiations at conciliation and arbitration service Acas. He said: “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.”

On the RMT website, the union said it has now received longer guarantees on protected earnings, no pension changes for at least three years “and so-called productivity proposals which would have damaged the terms and conditions of RMT members have been halted”.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “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.

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“Our campaign to defend jobs, conditions and our members’ pensions will continue in the coming weeks and months.”

Unite regional officer Simon McCartney said: “This is a welcome development but Unite is clear that only the full protection of all pension benefits past and future will be acceptable. We will continue to be involved at every stage of the pension review and will not take our eye off the process.”

Glynn Barton, chief operating officer at TfL, said the authority is “pleased” the unions have suspended their strike action.

“This is good news for London and we will continue to work closely with our trade unions to discuss the issues and seek a resolution.”

Strikes on the national rail network are still planned for July 22 and July 29, which TfL said may affect some District line, London Overground, Elizabeth line and Tram services.