Millions of tube travelers face a nightmare journey to and from work today and industrial action by tube workers enters into its second day and is thought to cost the economy Ã‚Â£50 million, and is thought to rise with further plans for more strikes.
More than 1000 members of the RMT and TSSA are on strike due to ongoing disputes over pay and job cuts. London underground had announced that there were to be 800 jobs cut on in stations and platforms as ticket machines and the oyster card have made these jobs redundant.
Staff argue that these jobs are needed and job cuts will have a detrimental effect on passenger safety. However, the CBI has reported that not all union members are in full support of the strike.
John Cridland, deputy director-general said ‘just 33% of balloted members supported the strike, which is only 17% of the total workforce’.
One disgruntled commuter, a victim of 2 buses, 2 trains and and an overground journey lasting 3 hours, grumbled: “The whole transport system has gone mad. Its almost impossible to get anywhere and people are getting really stressed. I even witnessed a chap on one on my tightly-packed buses lose it with other passengers. I understand that the TFL or whoever have to stand up for themselves but their strike action has caused havoc for the rest of us.”
To limit the effects of the disruption Transport for London has tried to encourage commuters to use alternative methods of transport; more buses have been included in the service as well as Thames commuter boat services and volunteer staff at stations handing out maps and travel advice. Commuters have also been urged to “get on their bikes”, walk to work or stay at home.
Transport for London (TfL) said almost 40% of its trains were running and only the Circle Line was completely suspended. The most affected lines are thought to be the Northen line and Picadilly, The disruption to the underground services are expected to return to normal at 5 o clock this evening.