Tube Strike Fiasco (Updated)

By London_Sian Last edited 129 months ago
Tube Strike Fiasco (Updated)

We all knew it was coming. Yet another tube strike. As of 6pm this evening, we're going to see 72 hours of chaos as more than 2,300 RMT members have promised to walk out. (The TFL website says services will not return to normal until Friday morning.) And what can we do about it? Absolutely nothing. We've been told to 'finish our journeys by 5pm or jump on the DLR'.

So what's the deal? Well, lucky us, the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines should be running as normal. Though of course, these are going to be hugely over crowded. NO OTHER LINES ARE EXPECTED TO RUN. This means that until Thursday 6pm, there is no service on: Bakerloo, Central, Circle, District, East London, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Victoria and Waterloo & City line.

Now, we know the union have been fighting for job security since the collapse of Metronet. But do they have to hold the whole city to ransom to do this? This seems ludicrously unfair and Londonist believe that underground passengers would be hugely supportive of any action that didn't screw up our daily lives. It's a little difficult to be supportive at the moment when Londoners are being used as pawns in a game.

Maintenance works will also not go ahead, meaning more problems in the future when the underground workers have stopped throwing their toys out of the pram. People get made redundant every single day. Yes it's terrible but why do millions of other people have to suffer?

What really annoys Londonist, is that Metronet and Ken Livingstone have assured them already that the concerns they had have been addressed. So why is the strike still going ahead? We have no idea what right the unions have to do this now the issues have been apparently resolved. Disrupting the lives of millions isn't exactly the best way to get results. Having a whole city against what you're fighting for doesn't seem like the best plan of action.

Although the strike is still planned, we'll keep you updated if there's any news. Currently, as services are likely to start winding down around 4.30pm we suggest you find other ways to continue your journey. As always, feel free to comment and tell us what you think.

UPDATE AT 4.15PM: Looks like things have started already. The Central, Victoria and Metropolitan lines already have minor delays. Hammersmith & City, Distrct and Circle lines already running with severe delays.

The Piccadilly line has severe delays too. Nothing to due with the strike, it's a signal failure on one of the only lines running.

If union members don't get what they want, rumour has it the same action is planned for 10th September as well.

5.15PM - Oxford Circus and Paddington Station are both exit only due to overcrowding.

5.30PM - "Due to Metronet industrial action the service is suspended between Rayners Lane and Uxbridge". On the Piccadilly line. A line that was meant to be running with no problems.

Flickr image from kk+.

Last Updated 03 September 2007


I for one, support this strike.
The purpose of strikes is to cause chaos, to emphasis the importance of the work that is being endangered. if it didn't cause chaos, it would be ineffective if it didn't. even though i will be effected by it, if i could I would also go and stand in the picket lines in solidarity with the workers, I just don't know where it is. We got used to a mundane lifestyle, so much so, that any irregularity is dubbed as chaos, it is this monotony that this kind of strikes are there to break,we are not machines, and anything that grinds the capital's wheels to a halt is a good thing in the way to beating this machine in which we are nothing but wheels and corks on.


It certainly does get attention. Just not sure if it's the right kind.

By the way, picket lines will be outside most tube stations, so take your pick if you want to go and support the workers.


I think a strike proves a point, as this certainly will, but the underground is such a integral part of london, and aving it shut off will cause absolute cahos.

I think its good someone/some people can make a stand like this, bring london to cahos, remind people why they (as in LUL workers) are here, and how important their jobs are. maybe making a stand will do good.

I think its bad in the snese it brings chaos to london, but thankfully someone has a point, and is willing to prove it

so why cant londoners be creative, and think of other ways to get home? you can make this how you want, so why look at it pessimistically? might help the tube become better (if possible)

I support it, since its a change for a day or two, and it proves someones point, which rarely seems to happen with the british public, if i may say so, no offence meant. its true.

I'd just like a londonist article with pictures, to show how we collapse when something we rely on like the tube comes to a stand still. hope to see it.


The thought occurs that with automatic train operation (e.g. DLR) and efficient private contractors (e.g. TubeLines but with competition more than once every 30 years) we wouldn't have these problems.

It's easy to strike when you're in a publicly run monopoly that is subsidised by taxpayers without such grandiose guarantees of employment. The Tube proposered when built under private ownership - now it falls to pieces after years of public control. This is a lovely demonstration of why.


From: Parkylondon

I think this article hits the nail right on the head. (Red) Ken has already said that the jobs are safe and that the pensions are safe. What's to strike about?

These Unions are locked into a 1970's style of industrial relations. Don't get what they want? All the toys out of the pram - and the workers out on strike. All out Brothers. Idiots

I've not been a Union member for 25 years. I had to join when I left school but the MINUTE I could drop out I did.

I don't see why, in this day and age, any need for Unions any more than I can see any need for the Health And Safety Executive - but that's another story...


Can Londonist please rally the troops?

If the Tube Unions want to strike, that's fine. Let's assess what they're striking against. Then, in return, can WE strike back?

I think that Londoners should strike, for one day, car sharing, walking or cycling - or even bussing - to work, boycotting the tube all together (or maybe just zone 1) but essentially demanding a fair price, a regular service, better run and managed stations, safer stations and tubes, later service through at least part of the night on the weekends etc etc.

A strike for one day would significantly hit the income and balance sheets of Metronet and they might finally deal with the shitty transport system.

It's time for us to give them a taste of their own medicine.


As far as I can tell, the rationale behind the strike is pure greed. The drivers get paid incredibly well (even being allowed off sick to play Squash!). They receive good pensions, holidays, masssive job security and so on. Every time any form of automisation or productivity increasing system is suggested that would result in job losses etc they strike and Metronet etc have no choice but to give in. I think that the unions should be banned from striking and we should introduce a DLR style system throughout the Tube.

Bring on the robots!


"If union members don't get what they want, rumour has it the same action is planned for 10th September as well."

The problem is, at least according to current news reports, that the RMT did get what it was asking for. But they're still striking anyway.

This wouldn't be the first time they've held a strike for no discernable reason. Remember the nonsense that we all had to endure in December 2005 and January 2006? Their New Year's Eve strike was a complete failure (and unsupported by most union members), so the RMT leadership called for further strikes because of unspecified "safety issues" during the previous one.

And in the midst of all of that, this article claimed that the strike was really about a lot of other things, including the fact that some RMT members were annoyed that they didn't receive an MBE after the horrors of July 7th 2005.

The public is now wise to the fact that these strikes have no legitimate basis, and must be an embarassment to many (if not most) of London's tube workers.


I believe it's only tube maintenance workers going on strike, not drivers. They're the ones who work for MetroNet.

The reason they're still striking is that while TfL and Ken have given assurances that no jobs will be affected during MetroNet's administration, the unions want assurances that no jobs will be lost or transferred to other companies afterwards either, as a result of whatever plan the administrators come up with for MetroNet.

To me, that's asking for too much.


It is impossible for any company to assure that will happen. How long after do they want this to continue? a year? five? ten? who wouldn't want job security like that?


@guest #3: You suggest Londoners be creative and find other ways to get home. How, exactly, do you suggest we go about doing that? Maybe we could cartwheel home. Or get a tuk-tuk.

FFS, we get the Tube because most of us don't have a choice. Instead of a simple two-line Tube journey, I had a very unpleasant journey home on bus, Jubilee line and DLR - crowded, bad-tempered and slow.

Don't forget to claim your refunds, everyone! Google "TFL customer charter" and fill in the form.


Nobody has job security if the company employing them goes into administration. Their demands show a complete disregard for economics and reality.

If you want a job sign up for it. If you don't want a job, don't sign up for it. If the company employing you goes under, then get another job in the same field or retrain. These guys need to take responsibility for themselves. I personally think that every striker should be made redundant. Any normal person who decided they were going to not do their job for several days because they didn't have job security would be laughed out of their place of employment with a P45 under their arm. These guys should be made redundant because they are obviously insane.