London Tube strike: Hopes of finish of dispute after Sadiq Khan signalled he approved union calls for

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opes of an finish to the dispute that has led to 4 Tube moves in 3 months have risen after Sadiq Khan signalled he approved union calls for to not minimize workforce pensions.

The mayor stated he used to be “now not persuaded” that the Shipping for London “ultimate wage” pension scheme, which price TfL £401m in contributions ultimate 12 months, had to have its advantages curtailed.

However it got here as 92 in keeping with cent of RMT contributors voted to proceed strike motion at the Tube – regardless that no new dates had been set.

A complete of four,912 contributors voted in favour of extra walkouts, with 424 towards. However handiest 5,344 RMT contributors – 53 in keeping with cent of the ones entitled to vote – took section within the poll, which renews the union’s felony “mandate” to proceed motion till December 23.

No proposals to chop pensions had been tabled however it’s one in every of two major considerations – the opposite is the lack of 600 station workforce posts – that noticed the RMT union power a shutdown of the London Underground on March 1 and three and June 6 and 21.

RMT basic secretary Mick Lynch on Friday described the strike poll consequence as “implausible”.

He stated: “TfL and the Mayor of London wish to significantly re-think their plans for loads of process cuts and looking to take hard earned pensions from employees who serve the folk of London each day.

“We’re conscious about the investment cuts being foisted on TfL via the Westminster executive. Alternatively, Mayor Sadiq Khan must mount a significant marketing campaign for the folk of London, to get the capital town the investment it merits for its public shipping.

“He will have to now not be looking to sacrifice our contributors pensions and jobs to suit inside of price range restraints laid down via Boris Johnson.”

Mr Khan, talking on Thurday afternoon as TfL used to be granted a three-week extension to its present Executive pandemic bailout, informed the Usual: “I’m relatively transparent I’m now not persuaded that there are any grounds to modify the pensions of those that paintings for TfL. It’s for the Executive to make the case.

“I’m relatively transparent find out how to recognise the exhausting paintings of our shipping employees – the numerous 1000’s who’ve saved our town working – shouldn’t be to make unilateral adjustments on their phrases and prerequisites.”

Tory critics reacted with alarm to the mayor’s feedback. London Meeting member Keith Prince stated: “It’s disgraceful if Sadiq Khan makes a decision he’d favor to chop bus routes and different TfL services and products than save £182 million in keeping with 12 months via reforming TfL pensions.”

An unbiased evaluate commissioned via Mr Khan in 2020 described the pension scheme as “beneficiant” and stated reforming it will save £100m a 12 months via 2025.

However a fuller evaluate, led via former union leader Sir Brendan Barber and revealed ultimate month, stated enhancing the scheme may just save as much as £182.4m – however warned it used to be “near to the one good thing about employment above and past workers’ salaries and go back and forth concessions” and used to be extremely valued via workforce.

Shipping Secretary Grant Shapps on Thursday evening granted TfL an extension to its investment deal till July 13 – however made transparent he sought after a “reset of the connection” with Town Corridor. TfL is looking for £900m for the present monetary 12 months and a long-term deal on capital funding.

He accused Mr Khan of “campaigns of scaremongering and threats”. TfL is consulting on axing 22 bus routes in central London and decreasing the frequencies on virtually 60 others. On Thursday, Mr Khan claimed that with out a long-term investment deal for TfL 100 bus routes would must be axed and Tube services and products minimize via 10 in keeping with cent.

He stated this is able to lead to 1,000,000 fewer trips an afternoon being made via public shipping within the capital, resulting in “gridlock” at the roads as Londoners returned to their automobiles, and higher ranges of poisonous air.

He accused Top Minister Boris Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Mr Shapps of “treating Londoners with contempt” in failing to protected TfL’s price range. The Executive has already equipped about £5bn in bailouts.

Mr Khan additionally vowed to introduce top class Heathrow fares at the Tube and to extend the deposit on Oyster playing cards – two cash-raising pledges first made ultimate December however but to be enacted.

Mr Khan answered to Mr Shapps in an indignant collection of late-night tweets – in spite of a pledge on his re-election a 12 months in the past to “construct bridges” with Executive in his 2nd time period.

A Executive supply informed the Usual on Friday: “The mayor’s ‘Venture Worry’ is a deficient method to construct bridges. The usage of TfL services and products as a political weapon is just now not in his or London’s pursuits.”

Darren Caplan, leader govt of the Railway Trade Affiliation, stated the extension used to be the eleventh ‘”stop-gap” investment agreement between the Executive and TfL in simply over two years.

He stated: “The longer this cycle of short-termism is going on, the tougher it is going to be to cheaply handle and construct the capital’s shipping gadget, and fortify now not simply London’s economic system into the longer term, but additionally the broader UK’s.”

Adam Tyndall, programme director for shipping at trade workforce London First, stated: “Now’s the time to position the politics to at least one facet and prioritise severe negotiations. Alternatively, historical past suggests {that a} mere 19 day extension is not going to be enough, leaving London’s shipping caught on lifestyles fortify.”

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