Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Strike at the Heart of the Capital's Economy

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Strike at the Heart of the Capital's Economy

Article excerpt

THERE seems no realistic chance that this week's planned Tube strike can now be averted: the system is set to be hit with major disruption starting this evening and lasting into Thursday. The inconvenience to commuters and to visitors will be considerable. And the overall impact on London's economy is estimated at PS50 million a day. This is a huge and irresponsible penalty for the RMT and TSSA unions to impose on London for the sake of their own power play with Transport for London.

For this dispute is ultimately about the unions' ability to exert power in this case, in disrupting management's drive to transform the Tube's operations in line with technological change. For all the RMT's talk of safety, that is not the issue: there will still be visible staff on stations, enough to carry out evacuations and the like, and staff reductions since 2010 have had no impact on crime.

Rather, the RMT wants to be able to call the shots, and to retain dues-paying members which it will lose under these plans, which envision a loss of 750 posts. …

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