LondonUnlocked

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It's been a year of strikes, and 2011 looks set to be no different.

The current Mayor was elected with a manifesto pledge to forge a no-strikes deal with the unions, adding a touch of predictability to London's transport network. That never happened.

Instead, we count down towards 2011 with several strikes looming.

The headline strikes of the year have been the RMT/TSSA's 24 hour walkouts over jobs and safety as LU looks to close ticket offices. Sharply diving opinion, LU has issued a fresh call for constructive talks with the unions.

Meanwhile, talk of strikes is hotting up across other areas of the network:

  • ASLEF members are considering a strike on Boxing Day. LU are bullish in their response.
  • RMT members who work on the DLR are balloting to strike on hours, jobs and pensions.
  • Northern Line workers at the Morden Depot strike on the 17/18.

All this leaves London in quite a mess, and the Mayor with a considerable job in appearing to not be tainted by the failure of a striking city as he heads towards a re-election campaign.

The Mayor's main rival, Ken Livingstone, also has a difficult relationship with the unions. But could he do better, and forge a deals that would keep London moving? If he could, many would see that as a reason to switch allegiance in itself.