By Claire West
The proposed tube strike has started and will once again disrupt the capital's businesses but what is the tube strike about?
There is little doubt that the tube strike revolves around London Underground’s plans to axe around 800 jobs but this is where the ‘dispute’ starts.
RMT - the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers say that proposed cuts by London Underground are; “ripping to shreds safety and maintenance schedules with lethal consequences for passengers and staff alike.”
London Underground however say that although the proposed changes would mean a reduction in the total number of posts they will involve no compulsory redundancies, and will have no impact on the Tube's high safety standards.
London Underground point out that some ticket offices now regularly sell fewer than 10 tickets an hour. The quietest ticket offices include North Ealing, which sells less than six tickets per hour, and Latimer Road and Moor Park, which sell only around seven tickets per hour.
Overall, sales from ticket offices are down 28 per cent over the last four years as more and more people switch to Oyster and just one in 20 Tube journeys now starts with a visit to a ticket office.
Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy said: "There is no need for this strike at all, and we continue to make every effort to avoid a dispute. Despite the RMT and TSSA leaderships saying this is about safety, they have failed to raise a single safety-related point with London Underground in hour upon hour of talks, and have not responded to our request that they set out their specific safety concerns.”
So - according to the RMT it's about saftey but according to the bosses it's about modernisation - little change there then!