London hit by biggest Tube strike in three years

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The walkout of 2,000 Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) members came after disagreements over TfL’s plans to make Tube drivers take on shifts at night.

The strikes targeted the five lines where TfL used to employ dedicated Night Tube drivers, with the Waterloo and City line also suspended as it shares many of its drivers with the Central line.

The Friday and Saturday Night Tube service was suspended during the pandemic. It was due to restart with a limited service on Saturday.

Mr Joe Swaffham, 36, who commutes from North Greenwich to Moorgate to work for a maintenance firm, said his journey took twice as long and made him 45 minutes late for work.

“Commuters were being less forgiving when trying to get on trains and I got pushed two-throw down the platform – luckily the Jubilee line has a glass wall for safety,” he said.

“But I think the train workers shouldn’t have to be forced into hours they didn’t sign up for,” he added.

Shops in central London said the strike could hurt sales on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

“The timing of the strike is particularly disappointing and is a real kick in the teeth for Central London’s hospitality and retail sector,” said Ms Ros Morgan, chief executive of Heart of London Business Alliance, which represents 500 businesses in London’s West End.

TfL said there were no plans to hold talks with RMT leaders. “We remain open to talking but there’s no concrete plans so far,” a spokesman said.

 

REUTERS

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