By Victor Jack
LONDON (Reuters) – Central London retailers and companies hoping to obtain a much-needed enhance from Black Friday gross sales have been hit by disruption to the tube community as drivers held their biggest strike since 2018.
The 24-hour strike, which began at 0430 GMT, led to the suspension of the Piccadilly, and Waterloo and City traces, and delays on the Jubilee, Central, Victoria and Northern traces.
Transport for London (TfL) mentioned it was working 58% of its common providers.
The walkout of two,000 Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) members got here after disagreements over TfL’s plans to make tube drivers tackle shifts at night time.
The strikes focused the 5 traces the place TfL used to make use of devoted Night Tube drivers, with the Waterloo and City line additionally suspended because it shares a lot of its drivers with the Central line.
The Friday and Saturday Night Tube service was suspended through the pandemic. It was attributable to restart with a restricted service on Saturday.
Joe Swaffham, 36, who commutes from North Greenwich to Moorgate to work for a upkeep agency, mentioned his journey took twice as lengthy and made him 45 minutes late for work.
“Commuters were being less forgiving when trying to get on trains and I got pushed two-throw down the platform – luckily the Jubilee line has a glass wall for safety,” he mentioned.
“But I think the train workers shouldn’t have to be forced into hours they didn’t sign up for,” he added.
Shops in central London mentioned the strike might damage gross sales on Black Friday, one of many busiest buying days of the yr.
“The timing of the strike is particularly disappointing and is a real kick in the teeth for Central London’s hospitality and retail sector,” said Ros Morgan, Chief Executive Heart of London Business Alliance, which represents 500 businesses in London’s West End.
TfL said there were no plans to hold talks with RMT leaders. “We stay open to speaking however there is no concrete plans to this point,” a spokesperson mentioned.
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