Three-day tube strike will go ahead as talks break down between RMT union and London Underground

Richmond and Twickenham Times: A shortage of trains on the District Line on Wednesday morning causes huge queues for commuters at Wimbledon Station A shortage of trains on the District Line on Wednesday morning causes huge queues for commuters at Wimbledon Station

A three-day Tube strike will go ahead next week after talks failed yet again between union bosses and London Underground.

Members of the Rail and Martime Transport union (RMT) will go on strike for 72 hours from 9pm on May 5 as part of continued industrial action over plans to close ticket offices and cut 960 jobs.

It comes after a previous strikes last week which affected commuters on Tuesday and Wednesday morning last week.

The District Line ran no service between Wimbledon and Edgware Road and the Northern Line did not stop at South Wimbledon, Colliers Wood, Tooting Bec, Clapham South or Clapham North.

Talks were held at the conciliation service Acas on Friday but broke down, prompting more angry words from both sides.

Mick Cash, acting general secretary for the RMT, said he was "angry and bitterly disappointed".

In a statement released late on Friday, Mr Cash said: "RMT negotiators worked flat out today at ACAS to try and reach an agreement which could allow for a suspension of the action and late this afternoon we had workable framework which could have triggered that suspension.

"However, right at the death LU changed tack and lobbed in a hand grenade, demanding not a suspension of the action but that the entire dispute be called off, pre-empting the outcome of the next stage of the process and imposing a condition that they knew we could never agree to.

"I am angry and bitterly disappointed that a deal which could have allowed for a suspension of tube strike action  has been wrecked at the last minute and we suspect the intervention of the Mayor who seems hell bent on using this dispute to further his own political objective of leading the Tory Party. 

"It is a cynical and politically motivated move that means that avoidable action now goes ahead as our members continue the fight for jobs, services and safety."

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said he was "baffled" by the planned strike, saying three per cent of tube journeys involve a visit to ticket offices, which London Underground have said costs £50m a year to run.

Phil Hufton, London Underground's chief operating officer, said: "Despite our offer to continue talking, their interest seems to be in preserving the past and forcing London's fare and tax payers to foot the bill."

The RMT and London Underground have met more than 40 times through Acas, the conciliation service, since a two-day strike was held in February.

Comments (3)

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12:04pm Sat 3 May 14

From beer to uncertainty says...

If they close the ticket office then who will put the "back in 10 minutes" sign in the windows during rush hour and tell people to "use machine" when it's not working?
If they close the ticket office then who will put the "back in 10 minutes" sign in the windows during rush hour and tell people to "use machine" when it's not working? From beer to uncertainty
  • Score: 3

12:44pm Sat 3 May 14

Michael Pantlin says...

I detest the dash everywhere to replace people with machines. Some passengers are not able to cope with machines and human communication is vital to help disabled and some elderly folk. It's not as though there is a shortage of people willing to take the jobs. One day these brash techno managers will get their come-uppance; read E.M Forster's "The Machine Stops".
I detest the dash everywhere to replace people with machines. Some passengers are not able to cope with machines and human communication is vital to help disabled and some elderly folk. It's not as though there is a shortage of people willing to take the jobs. One day these brash techno managers will get their come-uppance; read E.M Forster's "The Machine Stops". Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 4

3:50pm Sun 4 May 14

alroutemaster says...

Get rid of these communist ars*holes TfL, we don't need them.
Get rid of these communist ars*holes TfL, we don't need them. alroutemaster
  • Score: -1

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