By Daniel Hunter
The London Underground strike that is set to start today (Tuesday), and last for 72 hours, will have ongoing effects to services into Friday's rush-hour according to union leaders.
The strike, which will primarily affect the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines, centres around a row over pensions and will see workers from the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union walk out at 4pm today.
London Underground (LU) have said there will be no significant affect from the strike, although RMT have said the walkout of staff who respond to emergencies across the tube network will have a major impact on services.
"The inexplicable refusal of London Underground to agree to equalise pensions and benefits rights for our maintenance members is deeply suspect and points clearly to a secret plan to re-privatise this work in an action replay of the PPP (public private partnership) disaster," RMT general secretary Bob Crow said.
"We understand there are already vulture companies hovering in the wings for another shot at robbing London blind through PPP2 and reducing the network to chaos."
However, LU managing director Mike Brown said there are no plans to repeat the PPP structures seen in the past.
"There are no plans to repeat the PPP structures of the past. LU has recently taken the maintenance of the Jubilee fleet of trains back under our direct control. Our actions speak for themselves," he said.
"We are committed to proper discussions on the future of Tube Lines and that includes all our staff. Since Tube Lines transferred to TfL in June 2010 we have been fully focused on the upgrade of the Jubilee line which the PPP totally failed to deliver. It has now been delivered with faster, more frequent services for Tube customers."
Jon Lamonte, Tube Lines' chief executive, said there are strong contingency plans in place, and any strike action would not effect tube services.
"We have well-practised contingency plans in place to ensure that the essential maintenance required on the railway can either go ahead as planned or can be rearranged. We do not and will not put passenger or staff safety at risk," he said.
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