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London hit by more Tube strike chaos

Nov 29 2010 19:19 Reuters

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London - Millions of Londoners battled to get to work in freezing conditions on Monday as the city's underground rail workers staged a 24-hour strike, their fourth walkout since September over station job cuts.

Transport for London (TFL), which runs the publicly controlled network known as the Tube, said on its website two of its underground lines were closed with almost all the others part-suspended and subject to delays. Some stations were closed.

Only the Docklands Light Railway arm serving the financial district in the east of the city was running normally, it said.

In a statement London Underground said it has so far been able to run 40% of its normal services, but the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers' (RMT) union said industrial action had been "rock solid" knocking out or severely disrupting most lines since the strike began on Sunday evening.

A cold snap gripping the country caused more misery for commuters as they cycled, walked or queued for buses with the Met Office forecasting icy conditions would last for a number of days. However, London has been less badly affected than northeast England and Scotland.

The Tube carries some 3 million passengers daily and business lobbies have said the stoppages cost the capital up to 50 million pounds ($79 million) per day.

There are signs that industrial unrest may be building in Britain -- the newly-appointed head of Britain's largest trade union Unite told Britain's coalition government on Wednesday that more strikes were inevitable as workers reacted to job losses and spending cuts.

Members of the RMT and the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association walked out on Sunday in a dispute over 800 job cuts at underground ticket offices which they argue affects safety.

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