London

Talks to be held to avert London Underground strikes

Talks aimed at averting strikes by thousands of London Underground (LU) workers are to be held later this week, it has been announced.

Leaders of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) agreed to meet Tube bosses.

A series of 24-hour strikes due is to begin on the evening of Monday 6 September.

Union leaders intend to strike over LU plans to cut 800 jobs.

The talks will be chaired by conciliation service Acas.

'Unnecessary disruption'

LU's chief operating officer Howard Collins said: "We welcome the RMT and TSSA leaderships agreeing to talks at Acas.

"We will be entering the discussions listening to the concerns raised and trying to work together to resolve this issue without unnecessary disruption to Londoners."

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: "RMT is pleased that London Underground have now recognised the importance of using the negotiating machinery to open up discussions.

"The industrial action remains on and in light of the recent incidents involving fires at stations and the runaway train on the Northern Line there are no grounds for compromising on safety and safe staffing levels."

The unions have said up to 10,000 members would take part in the industrial action.

Maintenance and engineering staff intend to walk out for 24 hours at 1700 on 6 September, 3 October, 2 November and 28 November.

Other workers, including Tube drivers, signallers and station staff, will strike for 24 hours from 2100 on the same dates.

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