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London Tube Strike Suspended as Union Says New Talks Starting

London Tube Strike
Commuters walk across the London Bridge on April 30, 2014, as a strike by underground train staff affected the day's rush-hour. Photographer: Carl Court/AFP via Getty Images

May 5 (Bloomberg) -- The strike that snarled London’s public transport system last week will be suspended after the union said the action had led the sides to engage in a new round of talks later today about jobs and services.

Action due to commence tonight has been called off, the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers said in a statement today. London Underground, which runs the network known as the Tube, said services will operate as normal.

“We have been able to secure real movement and significant progress on the issues at the heart of this dispute in talks with the Tube management over the bank holiday weekend,” RMT said in the release. “We now have a viable framework for a proper review of the cuts and closures program.”

The negotiations over proposed ticket-office closings have led to a spate of walkouts, which drove away almost half the passengers who typically make 3 million daily journeys on the world’s oldest subway. The strike set to start at 9 p.m. local time was supposed last 72 hours, making it the longest yet in the current dispute.

Transport for London, which manages the capital’s transportation network, says its proposed measures will save 50 million pounds ($84 million) a year with no compulsory job cuts, and that 650 people have already applied to leave. Some 750 positions may go, though the RMT puts the number at 1,000.

To contact the reporter on this story: Benedikt Kammel in Berlin at bkammel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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