Socialist Worker

Solid strike on London Underground brings city to a halt

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2389

Pickets at Lambeth North London Underground station

Pickets at Lambeth North London Underground station (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Central London transport ground to a halt as workers on London Underground struck for 48 hours from Tuesday evening of this week.

Major central stations were reported to be closed despite transport bosses’ plans to keep them running.

Across the capital main line trains and buses were packed. Station after station ground to halt.

London Underground cut back on its plans to try and break the strike as it proved impossible to keep stations open.

Workers are angry at Tory mayor Boris Johnson.

RMT union member Sharon Collow, at Acton Town, said, “This is about the loss of 1,000 jobs. Boris lied. He said he wouldn’t shut any ticket offices, he also said he wouldn’t shut the fire stations but he’s lied on both counts.

“They’re not going to have staff on every station, I don’t care what they say, this is a way for them to start to phase out staff.”

Pickets at Barking

Pickets at Barking (Pic: Socialist Worker)

There was a strong picket line London Bridge station this morning, Wednesday, as managers there struggled to run even a skeleton service. The station did not open until close to 8am.

Lynda Aitken, an RMT member at the station, told Socialist Worker, “They look like they’re flapping inside. Normally they’d have a service up and running before this time on any other strikes I’ve been on. This shows the power tube workers have.”

While there was bluster from the right wing media and politicians, the majority of workers support the strike.

Instead of addressing the issues of workers losing their jobs and passenger safety with less staff they decided to attack RMT general secretary Bob Crow for going on holiday.

London Bridge RMT member Karen Guyott said, “People need to think about what Boris promised. He was the one who said he wouldn’t close any ticket offices when came in. Did anyone go after Boris Johnson when he was on holiday? No.”

“We need to stand together because this is hitting everyone. We’re fighting our jobs and for a service that’s safe for customers. What they are doing is going to make things worse.”

In Barking TSSA pickets told Socialist Worker that several drivers in Aslef had come to the picket line and refused to cross it.

The strike will continue through Wednesday and Thursday of this week. A further strike is planned for next week.

Commuters walking across London Bridge on Tuesday morning

Commuters walking across London Bridge on Tuesday morning (Pic: Guy Smallman)

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