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Transport and council workers call off strikes

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The leaders of four unions, spanning transport and local government workers, have suspended planned strikes after making progress in their respective talks.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) yesterday cancelled a 48-hour strike of London Underground workers after "significant movement" in conciliation proceedings with Transport for London and Acas.

The strikes were due to take place between 14 and 16 October over the proposed closure of staffed ticket booths and cuts to employee numbers in the Tube network.

RMT general-secretary Mike Cash said the current overtime ban will also be reversed due to the progress made in the talks.

"The substantial improvements we have agreed allow us to move forwards," he said. "But the union's core opposition to the austerity-led cuts on London Underground has not shifted an inch and we remain vigilant for further developments and their impact."

Meanwhile three unions, Unite, Unison and GMB, have postponed a strike of 1.5 million local government workers that was due to take place on 14 October.

Civil servants and school support staff were preparing to strike over the continued public sector pay freeze. But following an offer from the Local Government Authority (LGA) the action has been suspended while members consider the proposals.

Unison head of local government Heather Wakefield said the negotiations have been "tough".

"It is right that our members, who are keeping councils and schools going in tough conditions, will now have the chance to make their voice heard by voting on the LGA’s proposals," she said.