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London Underground May Meet Unions Ahead of 24-Hour Strike

Sept. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Unions representing around 10,000 London Underground workers are prepared to resume talks ahead of a 24-hour strike that is due to begin this weekend.

Negotiations between London Underground and the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association to resolve the dispute over job cuts and safety broke down on Sept. 22 after six hours of talks.

“We understand from ACAS that they have received indication from the leaderships of the RMT and TSSA that they may be prepared to meet for discussions,” Transport for London spokeswoman Tracey O’Brien said in an e-mailed statement. “We are seeking to establish through ACAS when discussion could take place to try to avoid this completely unnecessary disruption to Londoners.”

RMT spokesman Geoff Martin said that the unions are prepared to meet with London Underground, though “no talks are boxed in at the moment.”

The unions refused an invitation to resume talks on Sept. 24, Transport for London said in a statement on its website.

The strike is due to begin on Oct. 3 with a 24-hour walk out by London Underground workers at 6:29 p.m. with former Metronet maintenance staff joining them about half an hour later. Another 24-hour strike by nearly 200 Alstom-Metro train maintenance workers is scheduled to begin on Oct. 4 at 7 pm.

London’s 3.5 million Tube travelers took to boats, bikes, taxis and their own two feet earlier this month when the first of the four 24-hour strikes began. Two further strikes are planned for Nov. 2 and Nov. 28.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Spillane in London at cspillane3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge in London at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net.

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