First phase of track safety 'Section 15' strike suspended

RMT suspends first phase of strike action in tube safety dispute.

Tube union RMT confirmed today that a first phase in a programme of industrial action involving nearly 1500 maintenance and renewals staff on London Underground and Tube Lines, in a fight over basic safety issues relating to what are known as “Section 15 possessions”, has been suspended after the union received confirmation that changes will be put on hold for two weeks to allow for a comprehensive safety review.

The union has said that it will accept the proposal from the management that they will suspend all Section 15 Possessions and return to the safe system of work from this Friday for two weeks. Both sides will return to ACAS at the completion of the safety review.

RMT has therefore suspended the instruction to members not to book on for shifts between 06:30 Friday 12th February 2016 and 06:29 on Saturday 13th February 2016.

RMT has however maintained the instruction to these members to take action short of a strike by doing no working of any kind in a section 15 Possession, and by taking meal breaks as per agreements. The further six blocks of scheduled strike action also remain in place – starting Sunday 6th March.

The union will also continue with the ballot for action of Service Control Grades over the imposition of Section 15 Protection.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:

“The hard work of RMT’s negotiating team, backed by a determined and rock-solid workforce, has enabled us to secure a two week block on these track access changes to allow for a comprehensive safety review prior to a return to ACAS.

“The dispute remains live, further strike action remains in place from early March and the action short of a strike also remains in force.

“The union has made itself available for the safety review and the continuing talks and we remain determined to secure a long-term agreement that protects the safety culture across London Underground.”

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