By Claire West
Disruption is expected on London Underground until Tuesday evening because of striking staff.
Talks at conciliation service ACAS broke down on Thursday between RMT and TSSA union members who will start strike action from early evening today.
The unions are striking against plans to axe 800 station and other staff and close ticket-offices.
London Underground, on the other hand, are suggesting that fewer staff are needed due to new technology and in particular the Oyster card.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “The planned cuts are part of a multi-billion black hole facing the Mayor due to the costs of the failure of tube privatisation and an attack on funding levels from the ConDem Government. “
The Union’s stance is that the dispute is about public safety;
“RMT and TSSA have been presented with a stark choice. We could sit back and wait for a major disaster while safety cuts are bulldozed through.......or we can stand up and fight for passenger and staff safety.” said Mr. Crow.
However the impact on business, particularly small businesses
Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) believes that this strike action will cause massive disruption to London businesses.
“Each day the Underground is shut it will cost the London economy £48 million and hamper the recovery of all sorts of companies still hung-over from a crippling worldwide recession. The RMT need to accept that everyone in the private and public sectors are having to do more with less nowadays and understand that holding millions of commuters to ransom is an unacceptable response to not having its demands met."