Tube strike: Journey was a like a silent, polite rugby maul

 
A squashed commuter

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Many commuters will have experienced what I did this morning.

A grim, dreadful train crush of a journey more reminiscent of a silent, polite rugby maul.

While the buses, the roads (cyclists seemed to be the happiest today) and the trains have been very, very busy London Underground said it has been able to run some services.

Commuters I spoke to, though, said it was rammed and the trains were sporadic.

LU claims it ran eight out of 11 lines. The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said there was a "skeleton service".

Again, raising the level of strike mandate has reared its head.

The mayor said he would like it in the Conservative Party manifesto. Others believe it's a distraction and this is really about poor industrial relations and political animosity and change management.

So are there any winners?

Politically, both sides will claim a sort of victory. Both sides say they will stand firm.

Can this staff redeployment actually be sorted through talks? Or will it get railroaded through? We will probably find out on Friday.

There are certainly losers - namely London's commuters and the capital's economy.

 
Tom Edwards Article written by Tom Edwards Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 56.

    Comments on another story not working - sort it out!!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 55.

    Well I typed a response to this but it was 257 Chars over - so short;
    - London is a cesspit of money grabbing short term fools
    - Its only you who gives damn if you take 30 or 300 mins to get to work
    - you are paid for by EU and 'rest of UK' - you would make more enjoy life outside London
    - banking will ruin you all as the all get hacked as well as the legal and MOD - Not now but you will

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 54.

    The public sector (inc the BBC) needs to be radically overhauled. This sort of gang warfare belongs in the 1970s and 80s. The rest of the world have moved on, the British public sector needs to follow suit.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 53.

    Amazing how easy it is to get into London without using the tube, and how easy it is to walk to most locations in central London. No big deal.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 52.

    I commute from Bedford to London daily, I got into work 10 minutes later than norm, this strike has been hyped up like all strikes do, fair play to those striking, strike whilst the iron is hot and too hot for Boris to bear. We are not robots, we are human beings, sometimes I think you corporate folk need to relax more and look at the bigger pic, ever heard of the word empathy? Thankfully I have

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 51.

    The number 7 bus in Belfast was 6 minutes late this morning, no news article?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 50.

    They should take voluntary redundancy if offered and re skill themselves. There is virtually no need for ticket staff. Once contactless debit/credit cards are accepted on LU even ticket machines will soon be made obsolete. One thing I would do is to try and re train ticket staff in dealing with anti social behaviour and then have them on trains this would provide immediate benefit for travellers.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 49.

    I think they should understand the need to modernise. When I go to counter I get told to use machines anyway. However I agree that there should be limited counter service at key stations such as kings cross, Heathrow for tourists. It is the way of world, supermarkets have self service, banks have self service, airports have self check in. It's inefficient to have some one doing just one task.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 48.

    Most people do not buy tickets at the offices so close then
    I have been made redundant twice
    If it was up to the unions we still have stream trains

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 47.

    @williamclark the reason for this strike is to get BJ to negotiate with the RMT over jobs. The RMT have always said they want to go through the proposals,station by station,with him to see which jobs actually need to go and which can be saved, that's one of the roles of a trade union,to protect members jobs (but not at any cost). Your proposal to sack strikers is inflammatory and unintelligent.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 46.

    Look at this logically. Close ticket offices to save money = more profit. Optimise service with technology (ticket machines, etc.). Some people lose jobs. To compete on the world stage, this must be done otherwise our economy will flag. The newly-jobless must reskill to find other jobs rather than moan. That's life. Economically, we must export more. More tourism = more Tube journeys = more jobs.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 45.

    This failure of industrial relations & now failure of London Underground, shows up drastic differences between Toff Class represented by Boris & Cameron, & the working class people of London represented by Bob Crow & the Unions? There could not be a greater contrast

    Johnson has not met or spoken with Bob Crow for over 12 months? Why ever is that? Is Johnson just too snooty, wrong social circle?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 44.

    Meanwhile, parts of devon have no trains whatsoever...

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 43.

    I managed to find this blog which I feel is quite well balanced and cuts through the Tfl propaganda without really siding with the unions. (I didn't write it! http://londonist.com/2014/02/a-look-at-the-reasons-behind-the-tube-strike.php

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 42.

    The tube drivers' strike is a massive abuse of their role in society. They should be instantly sacked for failing to come to work and their jobs offered to unemployed people desperate for work. There is no justification for what they are doing. It is the equivalent of indiscriminate terrorism.

    When will Miliband condemn this behaviour? Never - because it is what labour encourages and supports.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 41.

    Public service workers should not be allowed to strike. If you don't like it, leave... it's quite simple. Private companies experience change too you know.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 40.

    The extent of the news coverage on this is staggering(ly ridiculous). The rest of the country couldn't care less if Londoners had to drive/cycle/walk/run/get a taxi/get a bus/skate to work for a couple of days.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 39.

    @38 Maybe having more staff not less would solve the problem. Stations are already understaffed . Making people redundant certainly isn't the answer.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 38.

    @freespirit
    Have you what happens when there are a bunch of aggresive drunks at a station? The station staff turn a blind eye because they too are scared (rightly so) of confronting the yobs.

    BTW, I'm not advocating having fully automated stations but the current system is no different.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 37.

    They're unhappy about losing 20% of the workforce, yet whenever I'm at a station the staff are always stood in groups of four or five just having a chat. I don't like to see people being forced out of work, but I can't help think stations are around 20% over staffed.

 

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