London Tube strike anger at RMT union barons

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nion chiefs came under fire on Friday after a Tube strike prevented thousands of commuters from going to work and dealt a serious blow to London’s economy on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

The RMT spur closed off the Piccadilly line – which does not include tube services to and from Heathrow – and the central section of the Central line serving Oxford Street and Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.

Businesses said the strike was “disgraceful”, while Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “This is the last thing Londoners need.”

Service did run on the Victoria, Jubilee and Northern lines, which were also targeted by the RMT, although not as often as usual.

There was normal service on the underground lines such as the District and Circle, which were not subject to industrial action.

Transport for London said it was using 58 percent of normal services on the tube at 9am. The number of passengers dropped by about 30 percent last Friday, but the number of bus trips increased by four percent.

This probably means about 600,000 fewer subway rides throughout Friday, a total of 2 million compared to about 2.6 million last Friday.

There were pickets outside some metro stations and the RMT declared the walk-out – over the driver rosters for the Night Tube – “rock solid”. But TfL bosses said the RMT hadn’t been as successful as hoped and believe some members showed up for work.

Andy Lord, director of London Underground, told the Standard: “I’m disappointed we got the promotion, but I’m quite happy with the level of service we’ve provided. It is clearly disruptive and we wanted to avoid it if we could.

“The Piccadilly Line and the Central Line have been the most affected. On the other lines we have a full end-to-end service, but with lower frequencies.

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