Tube strike suspended after progress in talks

File photo dated 29/01/09 of a general view of a sign for the London underground in central London,

A planned underground strike has been cancelled after progress was made in talk today (Fri) - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

A strike by Tube drivers scheduled for next week has been suspended to allow for further talks.

Industrial action had been planned by the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) following a conflict over Night Tube pay.

It would have seen drivers will walkout for 24 hours from noon Tuesday, August 24, and at midday on Thursday, August 26.

After talks held between RMT and mediators Acas today - Friday, August 20 - the union decided to suspend the action.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "Following further progress in ACAS talks today our Executive has decided that there are sufficient grounds to suspend next week's tube strike action.

"We remain in dispute and will be engaging in further discussions with a view to reaching a settlement.

"I want to thank our reps and our members on London's Underground whose hard work, resolve and unity has been decisive in terms of the progress we have been able ‎to achieve so far."

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Earlier this month, planned strikes for August 3 and 5 were suspended after the union made progress with mediators.

The dispute centres around the allegation - made by RMT - that Transport for London (TfL) wants to scrap the Night Tube pay grade for drivers.

TfL denies this, stating that Night Tube drivers have been offered the opportunity to join the full-time driver pool on a permanent basis.

As part of this, Night Tube duties are to be spread across all drivers.

The allegation is that this avoids having dedicated workers on these shifts at higher wages, effectively amounting to a scrapping of the Night Tube pay grade.

Richard Jones, head of network operations for London Underground, said: “These changes will allow us to operate both day-to-day Tube services and Night Tube more efficiently.”