Sunday / Monday's Tube Strike not as bad as was expected
The situation at 9.30am - Monday 9th January
The London Underground station staff strike started at 6.30pm yesterday - Sunday 8th - as planned by the RMT and is due to run for 24 hours. As the picture on the left shows you should check your local radio and TV before travelling to find out which stations are closed.
London Underground said at 11pm yesterday in a press release that the strike has had little effect with "only 12 out of the 275" Tube stations closed. This number has now (at 9.30) is now only 21 which is good because at worst around 40 stations were closed earlier in the morning.
The London Underground have posted a list of which stations were closed on their site here, on the right hand column, as they say we should expect this list to change as and when they discover enough station staff (or not) have turned up to open the station. There is also a map which graphically shows which lines and stations in general are disrupted not just because of strike action. At 9.30am - this list is showing that 21 stations Covent Garden, Goodge Street, Pimlico, Hyde Park Corner, Regent's Park, Warren Street, Hampstead, Oval, Edgware Road (Bakerloo Line) and Lambeth North are amongst the stations closed due to "non availability of staff". However, by later this morning and throughout the morning rush hour I thought that we would have seen many more stations in red on on this map that were closed for the strike. In fact the very opposite has happened as it looks like loads of station staff turneed up for work and were then moved to open stations which were shut. Bob Crow must be spitting feathers. Anyway, please keep clicking on links to see what the situation is before you leave and whether the stations you use are effected. The wildcat strike by Aslef drivers on the Northern Line - see further down this post - did not help matters.
Alternatively you can call London Underground on 020 7222 1234 or 020 7222 1200 for a recorded message with details of the disruption at various stages.
I will update when anything more significant happens but if you're new to the issues around the strike to continue reading and join in the lively comments and discussion at the bottom of this post.
The New Year's Eve strike didn't have the desired effect of causing too much disruption, mainly because a lot of station staff decided to go to work and ignore the strike. I would sincerely like to thank all of the staff who did that. Only 40 out of over 275 Tube stations actually closed down.
Monday's strike - well, it's a Monday and who likes going to work on a Monday anyway? I'm sure many offices will get lots of calls from people who will be "working at home because of the strike". Also as many staff were disillusioned by the RMT, perhaps they will still defy the strike and go into work.
The safety claims that the RMT continue to harp on about are "lame" to say the least. The rosters that London Underground (LU) are trying to implement have been agreed by 40 out of 44 station units and continually LU have said there will be no staff cuts with these new staff rotas and deployment. The RMT's New Year's Eve strike served to probably make the public more aware that this was a strike over something they had already agreed! I doubt there will be any more public sympathy for the strike on Sunday and Monday than there was before.
Keep adding to the lively comments and discussion below where you will see the opinions of commuters, London Underground employees, station staff and Tube drivers - and the RMT even helpfully published RMT Regional Organiser, Bobby Law's mobile phone number in a letter they sent to the BBC, try to show how LU have caused safety breaches by allowing stations to be opened during the strike.
Northern Line wildcat strike - Monday 9th January
Coming on a bit Victor Meldrew here, but "I don't believe it". Just because we'll have enough to contend with when the next RMT Tube station staff strike takes place on Sunday 8th January from 6.30pm for 24 hours, drivers on the Northern Line are planning a "wildcat stoppage in support of a colleague who was sacked for travelling through London Bridge station at 29mph when the safety limit is 5mph". Apparently he then failed to stop at the station and passed a red signal. The unofficial strike on the Northern Line is planned for Monday 9th January, when we'll still be in the middle of the RMT one.
London Underground say that the Northern Line driver was dismissed for a "particularly serious" safety offence, and when they interviewed him about it, apparently he said that he fell asleep at the controls. OHMIGOD! Not exactly model driver behaviour is it?
Anyway, members of Train drivers' union Aslef at the Morden depot are saying that he was treated too harshly and proper disciplinary procedures were not followed by London Underground when he was dismissed.
According to The Evening Standard "They also claim there were problems with the "dead man's handle", the brake lever that stops the train if the driver releases it if, for example, he or she is taken ill or falls asleep. LU defended the sacking and said no fault had been found with the train's brakes".
However, the unofficial striking drivers on the Northern Line are disputing this and are warning of more walkouts unless their driving colleague is reinstated.
The only funny side I can see to this is that perhaps the placement of the bed sale ad below this article in The Standard wasn't particularly well planned in view of the driver's falling asleep claims!