Tube strikes wage on creating travel chaos in London

by Ella FAIRCHILD on October 4, 2010

Millions of Londoners are finding it difficult to get to work this week as Tube staff begins a series of 24-hour strikes.

In a bid to subvert plans to reduce staffing levels at ticketing offices, London Underground workers have begun striking. The second strike in just a few months, the Tube has now been left operating at severely-diminished levels with three of the 11 stations shutdown entirely.

The RMT and TSSA have said that plans to cut 800 jobs on the Tube are unacceptable and will affect safety standards on the Underground. Transport for London, which has urged the unions to call of what they deem to be a ‘pointless’ strike, says that changes to the network and staffing levels are unavoidable.

The latest strike has led to chaos in travel in the capital, but RMT has remained adamant in its instructions to members to go through with the walkouts. Furthermore, the union has banned members from accepting overtime payments. RMT general secretary Bob Crow said that the TfL had been warned that planned cuts would lead to strike action from workers and that the staffing level cuts would pose a safety risk.

However, Mike Brown, managing director for the London Underground said that the unions had been refusing to negotiate for a week now and have demanded that proposals for any staffing changes be withdrawn. He added that leaders of both unions – the TSSA and RMT – have seemed intent on industrial action.

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