Tube strikes called off after unions secure TfL concessions over pension changes

A week of Tube strikes were slated from Sunday. Credit: PA

A week of Tube strikes have been called off after the government appeared to back down from demands to reform Tranport for London's pension scheme.

Members of Aslef were due strike on July 26 and 28 in a long-running dispute over pay, pensions and conditions.

But the slated strikes were suspended after unions received confirmation there would be no change to the current pension scheme until 2026.

Workers were told the value of their pensions would be cut and a final salary scheme ended after a central government-demanded review by Sir Brendan Barber in return for pandemic-recovery funding.Finn Brennan, Aslef’s organiser on the Underground, said: “After a week of intense negotiations, we have made real progress in making sure our members’ working conditions and pensions are protected from the impact of the Tory government cuts to Transport for London funding.

“There will be no changes to pension benefits before the next general election and any future changes to working conditions and agreements will only be made by negotiation.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said all the unions involved in the dispute had suspended their planned strikes next week.

He said: "I want to thank the RMT, Aslef and Unite who worked really closely with TfL (Transport for London) to pull these strikes off for next week.

"Negotiations are what it is all about.

"Our transport workers were heroes during the pandemic keeping transport going to allow key workers to get to work."

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RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “There has been significant progress made by our negotiating team in ACAS talks with TfL.

“However this is not the end of the dispute nor is it a victory for the union as yet. ”Our members were prepared to engage in significant disruptive industrial action and I commend their resolve.  

"RMT's strike mandate remains live until October and we are prepared to use it if necessary. ”We will continue to negotiate in good faith as we always have done with TfL and it was only the steadfast commitment of our members in being prepared to take sustained strike action that has forced the employer to make significant concessions.

“Our campaign to defend jobs, conditions and our members pensions will continue in the coming weeks and months.”