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LU drivers’ strike action underway

Visitors and commuters in London could be faced with major disruptions to services because of today’s Tube strike, with the Waterloo & City Line closed and the Central Line with only limited services and none in central London.

The 24-hour walkout by members of Aslef was prompted by LU’s refusal to “treat drivers with the respect and dignity they deserve at work”, according to the trade union, and cuts to drivers’ refresher training.

The strike action started at one minute past midnight.

LU is running a limited service between West Ruislip and White City at the western end of the Central Line; and between Epping and Leytonstone in the east. Any services that do run will not start before 7am, will finish by 10pm and will be at reduced frequency. Customers have been advised to seek alternative routes.

Nigel Holness, LU’s operations director, said: “We will have staff and volunteers across the network to help customers with their journeys but I advise people to plan ahead and check before they travel. All other Tube, DLR and London Overground routes will be operating as normal.

“We have made some progress during our talks with the Aself leadership and had resolved a number of issues. So we are very disappointed that they have, despite all this, decided to press ahead with this unnecessary strike action which will only disrupt Londoners and lose staff pay.”

The strike action, however, follows a vote of more than 90% in favour of industrial action. Finn Brennan, district 8 organiser at Aslef, said: “This dispute has been brought about by management intransigence on a range of issues.

“Our members will not tolerate a situation where vulnerable people leave sickness review meetings in tears and drivers with years and years of good and long service are threatened with disciplinary action for a delay of 33 seconds in leaving a terminus.

“LU is also cutting annual refresher training for drivers on the Central line by 20%. This flies in the face of recommendations made by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch in its report into the ‘uncontrolled evacuation’ of a train at Holland Park last August.”

(Image: c. tompagenet)

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