Trains keep running as Tube strike fails to bite

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MOST SERVICES ran on the London Underground system yesterday despite a 24-hour strike over pay by the RMT transport union, writes Barrie Clement.

Managers, members of other unions and some staff belonging to RMT also helped to keep all 270 stations open.

One union official said that while support for the stoppage was virtually 100 per cent on many parts of the network, elsewhere 'it was very much below that'.

London Underground claimed about three-quarters of trains were running at peak times with around half the usual number of services on the Northern Line - the worst hit. Management provided a full timetable on the Metropolitan Line, a company spokesman said. The RMT claimed only about half the system was operating.

The company spokesman said: 'It was a very good day for us in the sense that the union failed to have a significant impact on services. However, the strike didn't do us or our customers any good.'

The RMT executive is likely to meet on Monday to receive a report on the stoppage. The leadership will also have to decide next week whether to press ahead with further walk-outs.

Management insisted last night that while it was prepared to enter talks, there was no question of an increase in the 2.5 per cent pay offer which had been accepted by all the other unions. The RMT is seeking a rise of 4 to 5 per cent.