A strike on the main transport network covering the London Marathon area has been called off just hours before it was due to start.
Staff working for KeolisAmey Docklands (KAD), which operates the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), had planned to stop work at 4am on Friday for four days. The dispute is over working practices and outsourcing of some roles.
The strike had been called by the RMT union, whose general secretary, Mick Cash, had called on the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to get involved in negotiations.
Shortly after 6pm, the Mayor tweeted: “Just out of a meeting with @TfL commissioner Mike Brown and pleased to confirm that the @LondonDLR strike planned for this weekend has been called off.”
Half an hour later, the RMT confirmed the strike had been suspended “after significant progress has been made in talks with the company”, but stressed dispute is continuing.
Mr Cash said: “After 13 days of intensive talks RMT’s negotiating team has been able to secure significant progress on the key issues of the threat to jobs and conditions from outsourcing and a range of grievances around the principles of workplace justice.
“That progress has been enough to enable our executive to suspend the action and further discussions will now take place moving forwards with the union remaining vigilant as ever and we remain in dispute.”
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Runners, spectators and residents will be relieved, as will many passengers using London City Airport; the DLR is the main public transport for the Docklands terminal.
During the marathon, the DLR provides essential access for many residents and spectators, particularly on the Isle of Dogs on the north bank of the Thames.
It runs for much of its course on elevated tracks, while at street level many bus services are suspended.