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Talks avert three-day London Tube strike

A three-day strike by workers on the London Underground train network, due to begin on Monday, was called off with hours to spare after last-ditch talks.

LONDON: A three-day strike by workers on the London Underground train network, due to begin on Monday, was called off with hours to spare after last-ditch talks.

London Underground chiefs met with Rail, Maritime and Transport union representatives over the strike called in protest at plans to close all the network's 260 ticket offices and axe 960 jobs.

RMT acting general secretary Mick Cash said the union had secured "significant progress", with a "viable framework" now in place to review the closures programme.

"Further talks around the fundamental issues of cuts to jobs, services and safety will now take place," he said.

Phil Hufton, chief operating officer of London Underground, said the plans to close the ticket offices were part of a modernisation scheme aimed at saving 50 million pounds (US$85 million, 60 million euros) a year.

"The only way to resolve this dispute is for the RMT leadership to work with us to shape the future of the Tube in a changing world," he said.

London Mayor Boris Johnson hailed the cancellation of the strike a "victory for common sense and for Londoners".

"I always said these strikes were pointless," he said.

"There is no justification at all for holding London to ransom."

Millions of commuters in the British capital were hit last week by a two-day strike.

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