LONDON (AP) — Londoners faced travel chaos Thursday after around 10,000 transport workers walked off their jobs for the second day this week, leaving almost all of the capital’s subway lines suspended or severely disrupted.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union were on strike for 24 hours in a dispute over jobs, pensions and working conditions. Picket lines were set up outside subway stations, and huge queues built up at bus stations and taxi ranks across the city as people tried to get to work by other means.
Transport for London asked people to work from home if they could.
A strike on Tuesday led to the underground network, known as the Tube, being suspended during rush hour, and disruptions continued on Wednesday. Officials have warned that a knock-on impact to services will continue until Friday morning.
The transport union says it wants assurances that spending cuts linked to a government funding deal will not cause hundreds of job losses, reduced pensions and worse working conditions.
Britain’s government has had to bail London transport out because of huge losses in revenue caused by the pandemic. As part of that funding deal, London’s mayor has had to find millions in savings and review transport workers’ pensions.
Union leaders say they are open to talks if officials can offer a “concrete solution.”
But Andy Lord, Transport for London’s chief operating officer, stressed that no changes have yet been tabled and said “this action is completely unnecessary.”