Londoners struggle to work as underground rail staff strike

Londoners struggle to work as underground rail staff strike
Commuters at Earls Court underground station in London on July 8, 2015.
PHOTO: Reuters

LONDON - Millions of Londoners struggled to get to work on Thursday or stayed at home as a 24-hour strike by staff and drivers brought the British capital's underground rail network to a complete halt.

London Underground bosses said no trains would run all day on the "Tube", as the world's oldest underground passenger railway is known, because of the stoppage which follows a dispute over plans for new night services.

Commuters who usually use the underground network were forced to walk, cycle, take taxis or try to find seats on crowded buses.

Transport bosses said they had put on extra bus and river services with marshals positioned at the main overground rail stations to help manage the extra demand for buses and taxis.

Members of four unions have joined the walkout, unhappy with the pay and terms offered by London Underground (LU) to implement a 24-hour service at weekends on some lines.

LU has said it has hired an extra 137 night drivers and that many staff would be unaffected by the changes.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday the strike was "unacceptable and unjustified". "It is going to hit families, workers, and businesses across the capital," she said.

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