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Wednesday, 10 October, 2001, 16:36 GMT 17:36 UK
'Last ditch' talks on Tube strike
Tube train
Pasenger drivers are demanding a 1,600 pay rise
Hopes of avoiding a strike by London Underground drivers rose on Wednesday.

Last-ditch union-management talks will resume on Thursday morning.

"There is no reason why there shouldn't be a deal in the making," said Bob Crow, assistant general secretary of the RMT union.

Together with drivers from the Aslef union, the RMT drivers are due to stage a 24-hour stoppage on Friday.

Given the unprecedented levels of concern about security in London...these strikes are totally reckless. They should be called off

Peter Bishop, London Chamber of Commerce
A second strike is also scheduled to take place on 18 October, in a long-running dispute over pay.

Thursday's meeting will take place at Aslef's London headquarters.

If the talks break down, it is expected that London's underground network will be paralysed, with three million people facing major delays.

"We've been pressuring LU (London Underground) to get back to the table since last Friday," said Mr Crow.

"These talks should have taken place much sooner."

He said: "We believe LU should seize this new opportunity to resolve the dispute while there's still time left."

Unions are claiming an additional 1,600 for passenger train drivers, to take their salaries to the same level as workers who drive engineering trains.

Peter Bishop, acting chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce, has urged the unions to abandon the strikes.

He said: "Given the unprecedented levels of concern about security in London at the moment, together with worries about the future of the city's economy, these strikes are totally reckless. They should be called off."

See also:

19 Sep 01 | UK
Strikes planned on Tube
04 Sep 01 | ppp
Tube row set to carry on
03 Sep 01 | UK
Tube talks break down
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