London

Talks to avert third planned London Tube strike due

Commuters wait outside station during October's Tube strike
Image caption Services were severely disrupted as Tube workers walked out for 24 hours

London Underground (LU) and unions are to meet in an attempt to avoid a third 24-hour strike by Tube workers, conciliation service Acas has said.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) walked out in September and this month.

Thousands of workers are planning to strike on two days in November against plans to cut 800 ticket office jobs.

Acas said both parties had agreed to hold talks on Tuesday.

Transport for London (TfL) has previously said there would be no compulsory redundancies.

Services on the network were severely disrupted when workers walked out on 6 September and 3 October. Two further strikes are planned for 2 November and 28 November.

Unions claim the axing of jobs and a reduction in ticket office opening hours would also compromise passengers' safety, but LU said staff would be redeployed and this would not result in stations being left without staff.

The fresh round of talks comes days after LU announced plans to cut an extra 400 office and management jobs and leave an equivalent number of vacancies unfilled.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "Despite the evidence of a Tube system busting apart at the seams, the management have now upped the ante and increased the job cuts plans.

"We will continue to fight those savage cuts every step of the way."

Howard Collins, LU's chief operating officer, said: "We'll be going into these discussions positively to try to address any concerns raised and trying to work together to resolve this issue without any further unnecessary disruption to Londoners.

"London Underground needs to change and we look forward to being able to explain how we intend to do that with no compulsory redundancies and with no impact on our high standards of safety."

A Tube spokesman said the meeting would focus on the issues which led the unions to call the strikes and not the latest job cut plans.

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