A Strike Empties London’s Underground. Aboveground Is a Different Story.


The staff walkout on the Underground came after a long-running dispute over the closing of ticket offices.

Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor, described the subway strike as “completely unnecessary,” saying the dispute should have been resolved amicably around the negotiating table. “You going on strike means millions of Londoners have had a miserable journey today,” he told the BBC.

But Mick Cash, the general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers, or R.M.T., one of two unions that organized the strike, said that Transport for London had failed to offer a “serious set of proposals” to deal with stations that had insufficient staff to be run safely.

John Leach, an R.M.T. regional organizer, also told the BBC: “You can’t run London Underground with millions and millions of pounds of less money,” 834 fewer station staff, “but at the same time carry a million people more every day and keep it safe and efficient for the passengers.”

The strike is expected to end Tuesday morning — just in time for two other strikes to begin, one by drivers of Southern, a troubled rail service that serves southern England, and another by British Airways cabin staff.

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