Sunday's Tube strike called off

Metronet gives into RMT demands just 90 minutes after strike call

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Strike action due to begin this weekend has been called off after Metronet cancelled their plans to transfer 49 staff another company. Their announcement came just 90 minutes after the RMT union had declared an official strike.

The three-day strike by more than 2,000 Metronet Tube maintenance workers was set to begin at 18:00 on Sunday April 15 after several days of talks failed to settle the dispute sparked by the company’s decision to transfer staff to other companies.

Mark Cooper, SVP Asset Performance, said: “The transfer of train fleet maintenance staff to Bombardier Transportation is the sensible option for London's Tube in the long term. However, in the light of such unreasonable behaviour from the RMT holding London to ransom with its strike threat, Metronet has decided to act.”

Metronet will now continue with the transfer of 200 staff to its shareholder company Bombardier Transportation, but an additional 49 maintenance managers will now remain in Metronet employment.

Cooper added: “The RMT was prepared to stop London for the sake of 49 fleet maintenance managers transferring from one private company to one of Metronet's shareholders and we were not prepared to let that happen. .”

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said, "This is the sensible outcome we sought for from the start, and it means quite simply that there will be no outsourcing of our Metronet members jobs. Our Metronet members deserve congratulating for standing solidly together to defend their organisation, jobs and conditions and to prevent further dangerous fragmentation. Their stand, in the face of hostile media attention, has been vindicated by the outcome of this dispute."

The action, by engineers responsible for maintaining two-thirds of the Tube network, would have significantly disrupted London Underground services.

April 13, 2007