Workers strike in a London Underground already battered by the pandemic.

Workers strike in a London Underground already battered by the pandemic.

London’s subway system, one of the world’s busiest, came to a near standstill on Tuesday when about 10,000 London Underground workers represented by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers walked off the job over concerns about staff reductions and pensions. It was the first of two 24-hour strikes planned for this week.

Millions of commuters were encouraged to work remotely because of expected “severe disruptions” to service in the system, commonly called the Tube, on Tuesday and Thursday. Limited service resumed on some of the system’s 11 lines by Tuesday afternoon.

The London Underground, like many public transportation systems around the world, has seen steep declines in ridership and revenue during the coronavirus pandemic. The strike on Tuesday coincided with an increase in rail fares in England and Wales.

“These are the very same transport staff praised as heroes for carrying London through Covid for nearly two years, often at serious personal risk, who now have no option but to strike to defend their livelihoods,” the union said in a statement last week.

Transport for London, the public agency that operates the Underground, said in a statement that it had not proposed any changes to pensions and that its cost-saving efforts would not cause job losses.

The strike and the rail fare increase are taking place in London at a time of concern over funding for the country’s transportation system, which has struggled to recover from the pandemic.

Leave a Reply