Christmas Tube strike 'offer made'
Leaders of striking London Underground workers have offered to lift the threat of disruption over Christmas and the New Year as a war of words erupted over the effect of the latest walkout on jobs.
Union officials said they had no intention of disrupting festivities in the capital, although they warned this could change if Tube workers wanted to escalate the action.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, and Gerry Doherty, of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, angrily attacked Transport for London (TfL) over the level of Tube services.
The RMT dubbed TfL "Transport for Lies" and said it strongly disagreed with claims that 50% of trains were running.
Mr Doherty said: "It will not be my intention to disrupt festivities. I will not be recommending to my members that they strike over Christmas and the New Year."
The TSSA leader said the mood of his members was hardening as unions continued their protest against plans to axe 800 mainly ticket office jobs, with a further 1,200 cuts being lined up.
Mr Crow said support for the strike was more solid than during two previous walkouts, adding: "The first casualty of war is the truth and it seems that TfL cannot tell the truth.
"We are urging the Mayor to get everyone together to see what common ground there is."
Talks will be held at the conciliation service Acas on Thursday, but only involving the RMT, with little sign that any progress is being made.
Mr Crow said: "LU wants us to stop the strikes while they go ahead with the job losses which is tantamount to madness."