London Tube to Run on Boxing Day after £350 Driver Bonus Agreed

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By Ian Silvera | December 11, 2013 2:49 AM EST

The agreement was struck after transport chiefs agreed a £350 bonus for around 800 drivers (Reuters)

The festive spirit of Londoners will not be quashed as a full Boxing Day service on the tube has been secured.

The agreement was struck after transport chiefs agreed a £350 ($575, €418) bonus for 800 drivers.

The deal, agreed between London Underground and trade unions Aslef and the RMT, settles a long-running dispute on 26 December working.

"It's a good deal for London and it's internally self-financing," said Finn Brennan, a district organiser for Aslef.

"We've agreed changes to working practices and transfer arrangements to generate the savings so there will be no additional cost to the taxpayer or fare-payer."

Phil Hufton, LU's chief operating officer, said: "We have been in discussions with the relevant unions representing the train operators in order to resolve issues around working on Boxing Day.

"An agreement was reached with the unions at our Trains Functional Council, resulting in a genuine productivity deal."

Office Closures

The announcement came after news that RMT would ballot members on industrial action over the planned closure of all tube station ticket offices in London, with the loss of 750 jobs.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow told LBC radio that the union would serve notice of the ballot on the Underground on Wednesday.

The closure is part of a plan announced by Mayor of London Boris Johnson for the capital to have a weekend 24-hour service on five Underground lines from 2015.

Crow said he was in favour of the round-the-clock service but questioned whether safety could be maintained.

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