London braced for travel chaos

The first of a wave of strikes by London Underground workers in rows over pay and jobs will start today, threatening travel chaos for millions of passengers in the coming week.

Up to 200 Tube maintenance workers at depots on London Underground's Jubilee and Northern lines will go on strike for 24 hours from 7pm today in a row over pay and conditions.

The Alstom-Metro employees will also walk out for the same time on October 2, November 1 and November 27 after rejecting an "insulting" sub-inflation pay offer.

An indefinite overtime ban will also begin at a minute after midnight tonight.

Thousands of members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association will strike for 24 hours from 5pm tomorrow in a major dispute over 800 job losses.

The walkout, to be followed by further stoppages in October and November, will badly disrupt Tube services as MPs return to Parliament after the recess and many people get back to work after the summer break.

Mayor Boris Johnson and Transport for London have announced contingency plans for dealing with the strike, with 100 extra buses being laid on, escorted bike rides, marshalled taxi ranks, and capacity for 10,000 more journeys on the River Thames.

Volunteers will be positioned at Tube, bus, and rail stations to help people with their journeys and provide maps and other information.

The move follows the breakdown of peace talks at the conciliation service Acas last week, with both sides blaming each other for the deadlock.

There was no sign of any last ditch talks over the weekend to try to avert the industrial action.

TfL warned that disruption is expected from late afternoon tomorrow and is set to last throughout Tuesday.

Mr Johnson said: "Londoners are a hardy bunch and I am sure a Tube strike will not deter us from getting around. I have asked TfL to pull out all the stops, but we must be clear that the RMT and TSSA plan to inconvenience Londoners for no good reason.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "Instead of meaningless PR gimmicks from the mayor he should start telling his officials to take this dispute seriously and he should also start putting Tube safety before the dash to slash budgets.

"Boris Johnson was elected on a promise of protecting ticket offices and station staffing. Rather than throwing out red herrings like banning the right to strike he should get a grip on the lethal consequences that his officials' Tube cuts will have for both staff and the travelling public.

"The action is on and our members are finalising plans for picket lines across the network. RMT remains available for talks but we cannot and will not negotiate with a gun at our heads."

Gerry Doherty, general secretary of the TSSA, said the Mayor was behind the proposed job cuts, adding: "His plans to slash ticket office opening hours go considerably further than those he opposed in 2008 when trying to get elected as mayor and our members rightly see them as the forerunner for additional cuts in October when the Government delivers its dreaded spending review."

Meanwhile, TSSA members employed by Tube Lines will strike from 9am to 5pm on Tuesday in a separate row over pay.

Managers and clerical workers will also start an indefinite ban on overtime.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: "Tube staff are right to say there can be no compromise on safety and we fully support their action. The Mayor should honour his election promises and put a halt to these cuts."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Purchase Ledger Administrator

£5120 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working for one of the countr...

Recruitment Genius: Engineering Surveyor

£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Support

£9000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working for one of the countr...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Estimator

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence