A fresh industrial dispute is being threatened by a leading transport union as hundreds of thousands of rail passengers faced a third successive day of disruption because of a strike over the guards on trains row.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) on South Western Railway (SWR) are taking part in a five-day walkout until Saturday night, leading to the cancellation of hundreds of services.
Buses will again replace some trains, and the union will mount picket lines outside stations across the SWR network in Southern England, including London’s busy Waterloo station.
The RMT is now preparing a ballot for industrial action among thousands of workers on London Underground in a dispute over spending cuts and privatisation.
The union will stage a protest outside City Hall on Thursday against London Underground’s so-called transformation programme.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Staff across London Underground are furious at the attempts to smuggle in a creeping programme of cuts and privatisation under the cloak of the transformation programme.
“RMT will not stand back while jobs and safety are carved up and services like waste collection are knocked out to the cheapest bidder. If we have to strike to stop these attacks then that is exactly what we will do.”
Sean McKee of the London Chamber of Commerce, said: “Underground and rail services are vital lifelines of the London economy and strikes have a hugely detrimental impact.
“Businesses, commuters and visitors to the capital will be both angered and frustrated by this strike action and will be fearful of the threat of further action on both rail and underground networks.”
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