RMT suspends ‘go slow’ Tube action due to start at midnight

The RMT has suspended indefinite industrial action due to start at one minute after midnight tonight by drivers on four key underground lines after securing a victory over the issue of excessive track noise.

Drivers on Jubilee, Central, Victoria and Northern Lines were scheduled to take industrial action short of a strike with effect from 00.01 hours by driving trains in manual mode at an appropriate reduced speed in Pandrol Vanguard areas to mitigate the creation of excessive noise and to alleviate the distraction, discomfort and anxiety caused in the affected areas.

That action is now suspended after tube bosses agreed to union demands on the following:

•         The company themselves will introduce speed restrictions in multiple locations from Friday to mitigate the noise impact

•         There will be a programme of increased rail grinding to bring down noise, monitored by RMT health and safety reps in a preventative manner with an agreed formula and level of noise

•         The company has made available £10 million to cover the remedial works

•         Longer term, Pandrol Vanguard will be removed from all locations

The union has made it clear that although the action is suspended the dispute remains on and health and safety reps will remain vigilant as the agreed programme is rolled out by the company.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “This is a massive victory for the union, for our members and for RMT’s strategy of declaring appropriate industrial action to leverage negotiations with the employer. Be clear about this, if we hadn’t balloted and declared a programme of action from midnight we would not have secured this eleventh hour agreement with London Underground.

“I want to pay tribute to RMT’s tube drivers and our health and safety reps and negotiators who have secured this major victory for militant trade unionism.  The action is suspended but the dispute remains on and we remain vigilant as the agreed programme is rolled out.”

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