Tube talks to avert Underground strike end without agreement

The walk-out is over the proposed closure of ticket offices

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The first day of talks to try and avert two planned Tube strikes by London Underground (LU) workers over job cuts has ended without agreement.

RMT Union members are due to walk out for 48 hours next Monday evening and then again a week later for three days.

The row is about the closure of all 260 Tube ticket offices and 960 job cuts.

LU boss Mike Brown said the changes would mean more staff to help customers, but the union has claimed safety would be compromised.

In an open letter to Tube users, Mr Brown said as part of the proposals public areas of stations - ticket halls, gate lines and platforms - would become "personalised customer service centres", replicating service standards in operation during the London 2012 Games.

"Staff will be brought out from behind glass screens and hidden back offices to serve customers better.

'Not much' has changed

"Everything that customers can do at a ticket office window will be available to them more readily, with LU staff helping, at ticket machines, online or by telephone.

"There will be even more staff available to help customers with disabilities," said LU.

Passengers during the Tube strike Millions of commuters were affected when Tube staff walked out for 48 hours over ticket office closures

LU said 650 employees have already applied for voluntary redundancy, while an additional 200 staff will be needed for a new 24-hour Tube service at weekends.

The talks were held at conciliatory service Acas.

BBC London's transport correspondent Tom Edwards tweeted that he did not think much had changed since the previous strikes.

Widespread disruption was caused in February when Tube workers took strike action for two days. Further industrial action was postponed.

The talks will resume on Wednesday.

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