London

Tube strike talks: Last-minute offer made to unions

London Underground sign Image copyright PA
Image caption RMT members are due to walk out for 24 hours from 18:00 GMT on Sunday

Transport for London has offered unions a "new" deal to try and stop a strike by Tube workers.

No details have been given of the last-minute offer to try and avert the action organised in protest at plans to close ticket offices.

It comes after the biggest rail union, the RMT, walked out of talks at conciliation service Acas on Saturday.

The 24-hour strike from 18:00 GMT on Sunday is expected to cause mass station closures.

RMT promise

TSSA's general secretary Manuel Cortes said the union would now go back to its members and "seek their views" on whether to join the RMT on strike.

The offer was made after RMT had left the meeting. In a message to its members, RMT regional organiser John Leach said the talks had "failed" and the strike by his union would go ahead.

BBC London transport correspondent Tom Edwards said all previous warnings about strike action "still stand... whatever happens with TSSA" because the RMT represents nearly 10 times as many workers.

TfL said it will await the response of the unions.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Most stations in Zone One are expected to be closed during the walkout

Talks between both unions and LU had previously broken down on Friday afternoon.

Mr Leach told members of the RMT that LU had "given exactly the same offer again" during Saturday's last-ditch talks.

"This is just not acceptable. The unsafe practices and pressure on staff and passengers have to be resisted and will be," he said.


Tom Edwards, BBC London Transport Correspondent

There is no doubt this is a blow to the Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who said he would reduce the number of strikes.

Just yesterday he said strikes were a sign of failure.

This acrimonious dispute, though, has been rumbling through three mayoralties and the unions have always hated the policy of closing ticket offices and reducing staff numbers.

And even now it's not over.


Image caption The majority of central London Tube stations will be closed during the strike

Transport for London (TfL) previously said it would address the recommendations of a recent report, which found the closure of ticket offices had caused "significant issues" for Tube passengers.

Before the talks Steve Griffiths, chief operating officer for LU, said there was "no need" for the strike as more workers were already being employed and "around 500 staff will be recruited for stations this year".

TfL told the BBC it was "still inviting the RMT" to the conciliation talks.

A source said the RMT left the talks before TfL had the opportunity to share any further proposals, a point the RMT disputed.


Expected Tube disruption:

  • The majority of central London Tube stations will be closed
  • No Underground services from stations such as Victoria, King's Cross, Waterloo, Paddington, Euston, Bank and London Bridge
  • Piccadilly line services will run between Hammersmith and Heathrow Terminals 1, 2 and 3, but not to Terminals 4 or 5
  • No service on the Victoria or Waterloo & City lines
  • Limited services on other Tube lines in outer London
  • Buses, road and rail services including the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) are expected to be much busier than usual

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