Londoners face Underground strike chaos

London commuters faced the threat of major disruption from Monday due to a planned three-day strike on the city's Underground train network.

Londoners face Underground strike chaos
London commuters faced the threat of major disruption from Monday due to a planned three-day strike on the city's Underground train network.

The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union vowed to go ahead with the 72-hour walk-out from 6:00 p.m. in a dispute over the collapse of a maintenance group.

London Mayor Ken Livingstone slammed the threatened strike action, announced by unions demanding guarantees that the collapse of the Metronet group will not threaten jobs or pension rights.

"It would be incomprehensible to disrupt the lives of millions of Londoners and lose their members significant amounts of pay when all of the assurances they have asked for have been given," he said.

The exact impact of the strike was difficult to forecast, but it could bring trains to a halt on virtually all of the capital's Underground lines, which transport millions of commuters and other travellers every day.

The RMT has 2,300 members who maintain tracks, trains and signals on most of the network, including some of the busiest lines like the Victoria, Central and District lines.

Metronet, a privately owned group that maintains most of the London Underground train network, went into administration in July after running out of funds.

Transport for London (TfL), which runs the city's public transport systems, said unions had received assurances over the concerns they have raised about jobs, transfers and pensions.

"The administrator and Metronet have made clear that there will be no job cuts, no transfers and that pensions will be fully protected while the company is in administration," a TfL spokesman said.

AFP
Last Mod: 03 Eylül 2007, 17:25
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