Unions clash with bosses over Tube strike impact

Union leaders clashed with London Underground tonight over the impact of strikes which caused travel misery in the capital.



The Rail Maritime and Transport union said 24-hour walkouts over job losses set to end at 9pm were "solidly" supported and had crippled Tubes, leading to a "skeleton" service, or none at all on some lines.



And they are threatening more disruption in the coming months.



But Transport for London (TfL) maintained that well over a third of Tube trains ran despite the strike.



Commuters walked, cycled, shared a taxi or joined long queues for a bus to beat the action by members of the RMT and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association, who are protesting over plans to axe 800 jobs, claiming the cuts would affect safety.



Three further 24-hour strikes are planned to start from the evenings of October 3, November 2 and November 28, although it is likely that fresh talks will be held in a bid to avert more disruption.



Business leaders said the strike cost the economy almost £50 million, with firms paying for staff to stay in hotels, laying on alternative forms of transport, or allowing people to work from home.



RMT general secretary Bob Crow, who joined a picket line at Euston, said TfL's figures on the level of services were a "complete fabrication", adding: "They have claimed to be running a full service on lines where large numbers of stations have remained closed all day.



"It is time the Mayor instructed his transport officials to take this safety issue seriously, drop his cuts and open up meaningful negotiations with the unions over the future of a safe and secure Tube network."



London Mayor Boris Johnson cycled to the Stock Exchange in the City to speak at the opening session of the Capital Markets Climate Initiative as the effect of the strike took hold during the morning rush hour.



He said the staffing proposals were "moderate and sensible" and accused the unions of "cynically deciding to try the patience" of commuters.



Mike Brown, LU's managing director, said everything was done to keep as many Tube services operating as possible, adding that the city was not paralysed.



"The RMT and TSSA leaderships have chosen to disrupt Londoners for no good reason. The safety argument they now deploy - which has never been raised in any formal forum - is completely without foundation. It is simple scaremongering designed to mask their wish to strike.



"Londoners will doubtless find it incredible that the two union leaderships are pursing this action when they have been given cast-iron assurances that the staffing changes we are making come with no compulsory redundancies, that every station that currently has a ticket office will retain one, and that every station will remain staffed at all times."



Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said: "These Tube strikes will be bad for passengers, bad for business and bad for London.



"At a time when public finances are under pressure, any strike by Tube workers will be seriously damaging - undermining the case we are making within the spending review for continued investment in the Tube."



:: Commuters suffered more misery when rail services into London Waterloo were disrupted this morning after a lorry struck a railway bridge at Haslemere in Surrey, leading to delays, cancellations and over-crowding on South West Trains services.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
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

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine