London Underground strike CRIPPLES capital as workers walk out in dispute over pay
Nine out of 11 London Underground lines were shut down on Thursday morning, while the London Underground and DLR were also suspended
A strike by transport workers in London is causing travel chaos with many services closed.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and Unite are involved in a long-running dispute over jobs and pensions.
Nine out of 11 London Underground lines were shut down on Thursday morning, according to Transport for London’s (TfL) website.
The Central and Northern lines were partially open, with trains running on a small section of their normal routes.
The London Overground and Docklands Light Railway (DLR) were also suspended.
There is expected to be an increase in the number of people working from home to avoid the disruption.
But a surge in road congestion is still likely as people who need to travel seek alternative forms of transport.
Picket lines were mounted outside Tube stations across the capital.
The RMT said it offered to suspend the strike during talks, but accused TfL of rejecting its proposals.
TfL’s chief operating officer, Glynn Barton, said no proposals to change pensions or conditions have been made.
TfL’s recent funding agreement with the Government requires it to develop options around pensions, but the organisation said if changes are to be made, there will be consultations and further work before any decisions are taken.
The RMT said it has asked TfL to pause any job cuts and pension changes to give both sides time to negotiate a deal.
General secretary Mick Lynch said: “TfL have missed a golden opportunity to make progress in these negotiations and avoid strike action.
“Our members are resolute in their determination to see a just settlement to this dispute, and they will continue their industrial campaign for as long as it takes.”
More than 1,000 Unite members are on strike.
The union’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “TfL is needlessly attacking our members’ pay and pensions, which Unite simply can’t accept. The workers have the full support of their union in fighting these attacks.
“TfL must stop behaving like a race-to-the-bottom employer and put forward an offer that is acceptable to our members.”
The Unite members are employed at London Underground, Compliance, Policing, Operations & Security, Victoria Coach Station, Network Management Control Centre, Croydon Trams engineering, Dial-A-Ride and Surface Operations.
Unite regional officer Simon McCartney said: “There is absolutely no need for TfL to press ahead with these attacks. The pension scheme is financially viable and in credit and the savings TfL were forced to make have already been found elsewhere. It is high time London’s Labour mayor, Sadiq Khan, intervened.”