London Underground railway workers have started a second strike over safety and staffing levels, disrupting the travel plans of 3.5 million customers.
The 24-hour walkout, one of four scheduled in protest against 800 planned job cuts, began at 6:29 p.m., Geoff Martin, a spokesman for the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union, said by telephone today.
The stoppage, the fifth to shut London Underground since 2002, involves around 10,000 employees. More than 100 additional buses, capacity for more than 10,000 extra river crossings and controlled taxi centers have been organized for the strike period, according to Transport for London’s website.
During the first 24-hour strike on Sept. 6, Londoners took to boats, bikes and taxis to get to work. The 24-hour strike may cost businesses 48 million pounds ($76 million), according to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Negotiations between London Underground and the RMT and the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association to resolve the dispute broke down on Sept. 22. TFL said Sept. 30 that the unions were prepared to resume talks to resolve the dispute.
“We will keep as many stations open as possible and will run as many trains as we safely can,” London Underground Managing Director Mike Brown said in an e-mailed statement to customers on Oct. 1. Further walkouts are planned for Nov. 2 and Nov. 28.
In a separate dispute over pay and conditions, almost 200 RMT rail workers in the Tube’s Jubilee and Northern depots will strike for 24 hours starting at 7 p.m. on Oct. 4.