London Tube Workers Planning Two-Day Strike From Tomorrow

London Underground staff belonging to the Rail, Maritime & Transport union plan to go ahead with a 48-hour strike starting tomorrow evening over Mayor Boris Johnson’s plans to close ticket offices and cut 750 jobs.

Asked if the walkout would go ahead, RMT spokesman Geoff Martin said today in a text message: “Action on.” Talks are ongoing with London Underground via the state-appointed Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, he said.

Services are expected to be disrupted from about 9:30 p.m. tomorrow until the morning of Feb. 7, and though some trains may run many stations will probably be shuttered, Transport for London, which oversees the Tube, said on its website.

“The strike will disrupt services throughout all of Wednesday and Thursday,” TfL said, adding that people should complete their journey as early as possible tomorrow and consider cycling or walking to work over subsequent days, with surface rail and bus services likely to be overcrowded.

Under Johnson’s plans, which also involve the introduction of 24-hour services on the Underground, ticket offices would be retained only at five central London Tube stations and at Heathrow airport. Less than 3 percent of Tube journeys now involve a visit to a ticket office, according to TfL.

The RMT union said Jan.10 that 77 percent of members who took part in a ballot had voted to strike. A further two-day walkout is scheduled for the evening of Feb. 11.

Heathrow Express trains, the Docklands Light Railway and other rail services should operate as normal throughout both protests. Tube services that do run will start later than normal and finish early, from about 7 a.m. until 11 p.m., TfL said, staffed by managers and employees electing not to strike.

To contact the reporters on this story: Christopher Jasper in London at cjasper@bloomberg.net; Robert Wall in London at rwall6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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