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Tube strike called off, but is either side victorious?

11 February 2014

Londoners rejoice — the Tube strike has been called off. Following discussions through the ACAS arbitration service, the RMT and TSSA unions have called off the second 48 hour strike due to begin tomorrow. It seems to be a draw, with neither Transport for London nor the unions being crowned the winner.

In return for calling off all industrial action, TfL has agreed to two months of intensive talks ‘to examine LU’s proposals in detail’, combined with a review of every station which significantly ‘could result in some ticket offices remaining open.’ Boris Johnson said:

‘TfL’s negotiators have been ready since November to discuss the detail around ticket office closures and wider modernisation of the Tube. It’s welcome news that the unions appear to recognise that, and will return to full and substantive discussions with TfL between now and the end of the consultation period in early April.

‘Sitting down to discuss those proposals, free from the prospect of strike action, was always the only sensible way forward. I’m grateful to TfL’s negotiating team and pleased the unions agree this is the right way forward.’

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The RMT obviously don’t think so and in a statement, Bob Crow claims his union never wanted to go on strike in the first place:

‘It is unfortunate that we were forced and provoked into a dispute that we never wanted and we are now in a position to move on with the clear understanding that our action is suspended but if there is any further attempt to impose change from above the action will go back on.’

The unions can claim that they did not shift away from their initial position and that there is now the possibility of some ticket offices remaining open. Yet TfL can boast they aren’t going to scrap or drastically alter their modernisation plan — and 24-hour Tubes during the weekend will still happen. Now both parties must agree on a proper plan before the negotiation period is up in April. Otherwise, there’s the possibility of more disruptive strikes.

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Show comments
  • 2trueblue

    The only reason the strike has been called of by Liebores backers is timing. It would draw the focus off the flood problems, and Liebore do not want that. Alternatively when half of the commuter belt is under water, a strike would not serve them in any way.

  • CharlietheChump

    Quick, bring on the robots

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    No no no, let my disapproval be noted by the Spectator’s image librarians.
    Boris has aged by at least a decade and has had a haircut since, and council house sponger Bob now wears this God-awful lefty-style Farage cap.
    Why would he copy him if it wasn’t visually convincing?

  • Chris lancashire

    Crow lost.

    • HookesLaw

      Correct. Of course it is not a draw. The unions have called off a strike and are pursuing the dispute through the proper channels it should have done before the first strike. Its likely there would have been discussions before this had the unions not called the first strike.
      As Mr Chump says the rise of driverless trains is now inevitable.

  • Dr. C.

    How awful. I’m rather afraid that Bob Crow is just a terrible, terrible individual either unable or unwilling to see the bigger picture. It’s a real pity. Last weeks strike and the disruption caused was for nothing other than to get Crow column inches.

    • Mynydd

      Maybe Bob Crow is just a terrible, terrible individual, I don’t know him so I can’t comment. What I do know is that he is paid to look after the interest of the RMT members. The bigger picture is for TfL, and they are paid to keep their workers on their side, by explaining why, and what the changes are, and how it is in their long term interest. When management fail in this strikes will happen.

      • Dr. C.

        I’d agree that his sole responsibility is to his members but, as has been suggested elsewhere, his media appearances make him look like one who would not have completed one term at Charm School!

      • kyalami

        Or when Mr Crow wants to flex his muscles.

      • HookesLaw

        Pathetic response.

    • 2trueblue

      Absolutely, and now he decides to call it off…. because he does not want to take the spotlight off Camerons problems with the floods, thus helping his mate Millipede.

  • Wessex Man

    Humpty rumpty and humpty dumpty have kissed and made up ahhh

  • Mynydd

    It seems that last weeks strike because Mr

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Utter rubbish on behalf of the Labour Party. It is nothing to do with being anti-union but saving money by getting rid of jobs which are no longer required and using the money saved where it is most needed on new signalling etc. Over 90% of tube travellers use ‘Oyster cards’ etc and so there is no need for ticket offices. There will be no compulsory redundancies. Indeed, more people have volunteered for redundancy than there are places available. Union power is now centred in public sector monopolies like the London Underground but like their predecessors in the coal mines, ports, shipyards, print works etc etc their days are numbered. Driverless trains such as those used on parts of the Paris metro will see to Marxist agitators like Crow and where will his members be then? You can spread your propaganda on behalf of Labour, the party of lies, lying and liars, but Crow is ultimately finished.

      • Mynydd

        I am a man and don’t speak for anyone but myself.
        Why did Mr Johnson say there would be no ticket office closures, then go back on his word?
        No compulsory redundancies is just spin. What would happen if no one volunteered?
        Up and down the country companies introduce new technology and automation, all the time without strikes, It is down to the management to manage change and work hard to get their work force to buy into what they want to achieve. When they do there are no strikes.
        In the middle of a strike why did Mr Johnson advocate hardening the law in respect to Unions? Did he not realise this could inflame the situation.
        At the end of the day it is down to TfL to manage its relationship with the trade unions (RMT is not the only one) not the London Mayor.
        I do not spread propaganda on behalf of any party, I am man enough to speak for myself.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          You are a worthless Labour troll incapable of objectivity. It is a lot easier to introduce new technology in the private sector because there is little union influence whereas the underground is a state sector monopoly and thus subject to militant unionism. Hopefully, driverless trains will eventually break the hold of scum like Crow. Johnson recommended hardening strike laws because a group of left wing agitating scum earning £52k a year have no right to hold the rest of London to Ransom and like the dockers, print workers and miners will eventually pay for their militancy with their jobs. The job of TFL is to run the underground you idiot. It has no mandate or requirement to manage the activities of a militant union and it’s megalomaniacal leader. It occasionally must negotiate with the transport union but it’s aim must be to deliver a good value service to Londoners and the unions don’t like that then tough.

          • Mynydd

            In 1968 I installed and commissioned a scheme using the latest technology and automatic control systems in a coal mine which eliminate over 100 underground jobs. Why do you think the National Union of Mineworkers accepted this? Since that date I have updated industrial control systems in both the public and private sectors and there is no difference where the management have managed the change.

    • kyalami

      Change “Johnson” for “Crow”, delete “anti-” and delete the last sentence and you are absolutely correct.

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