Londoners Face Travel Chaos With 24-Hour Tube Strike
London Underground subway workers will strike on Nov. 28 over a plan to cut 800 jobs, disrupting travel for the city’s 3.5 million users of the network known as the Tube.
The 24-hour walkout, the last of four scheduled to protest the reductions, will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Rail, Maritime and Transport Union spokesman Geoff Martin said.
The strike is likely to cost the economy at least 48 million pounds ($75 million), London Chamber of Commerce and Industry spokesman Andrew Horne said by phone today, and will be exacerbated by the heavy snowfall expected in the capital next week.
“It might well be the case that it has that cost to the economy of London but the long-term cost to public safety we think is even higher,” Martin said in a telephone interview. “The action is on.”
The stoppage, the seventh to shut the Tube since 2002, involves around 10,000 employees. More than 100 additional buses and capacity for more than 10,000 extra river crossings have been organized for the strike, Transport for London spokesman Ben Pennington said by phone.
“Sunday’s and Monday’s strike action on the Tube is terrible timing with icy conditions taking hold and the possibility of snow on the Sunday,” LCCI Chief Executive Colin Stanbridge said in an e-mailed statement.
TfL condemned the RMT and Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association for refusing to continue constructive talks, according to an e-mailed statement.
“We have been consulting with the union leaderships for six whole months to try to establish what specific safety concerns they may have,” London Underground Chief Operating Officer Howard Collins said in the statement. “If they are serious about resolving this issue, they should call off their totally unnecessary strike immediately.”
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