Travel chaos warned as London Rail and Underground workers go on strike
The London Underground advised people not to travel on Monday as thousands of workers are set to strike in a dispute over jobs and pensions.
Metro services across the capital will be paralyzed as members of the Railway, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union plan to go out for 24 hours.
Transport for London (TfL) has said some rail services will operate, but it expects severe disruption to the network from the start of service Monday until 8am Tuesday.
Many stations, particularly those in central and south London, will be closed, while stations that can be opened will only operate for limited periods.
Other TfL services, including DLR, London Overground and trams, are unaffected by the industrial action and will operate but will be busier.
TfL said no proposals had been tabled on pensions or terms and conditions, and that no one would lose their jobs because of the proposals he put forward.
Under previous funding agreements, the government has required TfL to strive to achieve financial sustainability of its operations by April 2023.
TfL has offered not to recruit in around 500-600 positions as they become vacant.
Andy Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer, said: “I would like to apologize to London for the impact this strike will have on journeys tomorrow and Tuesday morning.
“We know this is going to be detrimental to London and the economy at a time when public transport is playing a crucial role in the capital’s recovery.
“While our aim is always to help everyone get around London when they want, the expected impact of the RMT action means we have to advise people not to travel until tomorrow if necessary, as many stations can be closed.
“Alternatives to the metro, including the bus and train networks, are likely to be much busier than usual and we expect the severe disruption caused by this strike to continue into the morning of Tuesday June 7.
“No changes have been proposed to pensions and no one has lost or will lose their job as a result of the proposals we have made. My message to the RMT is this: it’s not too late to call off tomorrow’s strike.
“Working with us to find a solution is the best course of action, avoiding the disruption this strike will cause to Londoners and the economy.”
The RMT said under the current proposals 600 jobs will be lost, working agreements will be torn up and the looming threat to pensions remains in place.
General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “We demand a direct face-to-face meeting with Mayor Sadiq Khan to sort out this mess.
“There is no point in our union continuing to sit in front of management representatives who have neither the desire nor the authority to negotiate a settlement, when the power belongs to the mayor.
Richard Burge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “We are extremely disappointed that the RMT has called for a massive walkout by TfL workers close to the Queen’s Jubilee weekend, when London is full of visitors.
“The past two years have hit London disproportionately and the capital is desperately trying to regain some sense of normalcy after two tumultuous years.
“This strike now puts TfL in a position where it has to recommend that Londoners work from home.
“Ultimately, this will only hurt London’s economy and it’s time for TfL to settle its dispute with the RMT so we can start building prosperity again and show the world that London is an open business. “