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Second London Tube strike called off with hours to go

Trade unions called off a planned strike on the London Underground train network on Tuesday just hours before it was due to start.

LONDON: Trade unions called off a planned strike on the London Underground train network on Tuesday just hours before it was due to start.

The 48-hour action was planned to follow a similar strike last week which caused delays and disruption to millions of commuters.

But the TSSA and RMT unions said they were cancelling the strike after receiving proposals to put on hold the closure of all 260 ticket offices on the Underground network, measures which could lead to the loss of 950 jobs.

The RMT's general secretary Bob Crow said the move followed talks at the conciliation service ACAS.

Crow said: "After two days of intensive and detailed discussions through the offices of ACAS, we have now received proposals that halt the implementation of the job cuts which gives us the opportunity to discuss all of the issues away from the pressure cooker."

London mayor Boris Johnson welcomed the unions' decision and said he looked forward to "full and substantive discussions" about the planned ticket office closures.

The news that the strike has been called off will be welcomed by commuters already struggling with heavily disrupted overground services due to flooding along the River Thames to the west of London.

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