Londoners, coping with a transit worker strike, walk home from work on Tuesday. (Photo by flickr user Orhan*)
As New York sits on the brink of a taxi strike that, as SUBWAYblogger accurately notes, won’t be noticeable in the morning, our London brethren across the Atlantic spent Tuesday coping with day one of a potential three-day transit strike. Well, much like the over-hyped taxi strike, the London transit strike won’t turn out to be as bad as expected.
While Wednesday’s rush-hour commute for Londoners will still be rife with problems, the strike — or at least this week’s strike — has been halted after productive talks between the two sides. The workers still have the option to walk out of the job next Monday as originally planned, but by Wednesday afternoon, things should be back to normal in London.
Lucky them. Our transit strike lasted a legitimate three days. The Guardian has more:
Millions of London commuters are facing further travel misery this morning, even though the RMT union last night suspended its strike which brought the bulk of London’s tube network to a halt …
Sources said the breakthrough in the negotiations had come too late to prevent further disruption during today’s morning rush hour, though a deal could see services improve later in the day. The latest development came as the RMT was under increasing political pressure to halt a dispute which had led to the suspension of nine of the 12 tube lines.
As I noted yesterday, the maintenance workers are concerned about securing guaranteed pensions after Metronet, one of the public-private partnerships tasked with running nine of the 12 tube lines, entered bankruptcy. While Transport for London, the other PPP, is trying to assume control of those nine lines, for now, the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union workers want Metronet to secure their futures.
London, a more frequent victim of transit strikes and 24-hour worker industrial actions, will be relieved to see things return to some semblance of normalcy this week. And I’ll return to the MTA and New York (and mislabeled subway stations) now that the fun in London appears to be over.