Published on Tuesday, September 4, 2007

London Tube strike causes travel chaos

A Press Association and Guardian report says that London Underground passengers suffered travel chaos when workers went ahead with a 72-hour strike causing the cancellation of most Tube services.

Around 2,300 members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union walked out in a bitter row linked to the collapse of maintenance giant, Metronet.

Last-minute appeals by mayor Ken Livingstone failed to halt the strike, which led to the cancellation of services on two thirds of the system.

London Underground said there would be no tubes on the Central, Bakerloo, Victoria, Waterloo & City, District, Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan and East London lines for the next three days unless the strike was called off.

Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly line services, which are maintained by Tube Lines, should continue to operate, although they are expected to be very busy.

LU urged passengers to walk if possible, find other ways of getting to and from work and to respect the efforts of transport staff.

Mr Livingstone said that the strike was one of the most "purposeless" ever called and said all issues raised by unions over jobs, transfers and pensions had been settled.

Analysts estimated that the strike would cost London's economy up to £50 million a day while business and opposition groups warned that the impact on tourism and industry would be huge.

Two other Tube unions, Unite and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, called off their strikes after accepting assurances on jobs and transfers. The TSSA will hold further talks on pensions later this week and said it could join a second walkout next week if it did not reach a deal.

The RMT warned of another 72-hour strike next Monday unless the row is resolved.

Report by The Mole

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