LondonUnlocked

Strike latest

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The RMT strike continues into its second day with TfL offering patchy services on some lines and commuters suffering long delays on their way to and from work.

In terms of staying in the loop, if you're not already reading Dave Hill, you really should be. Like a London-based Columbo his 'just one more thing' posts on the strike have become essential markers for the progress of talks (or lack there of). The best of the day below:

I emerged from Westminster Jubillee Line station ("minor delays") 20 minutes ago, parked myslef on ground outisde Portcullis House and made a call to TfL. Line engaged. I called the RMT. Any developments? "We're about to release something, urging management to get back to talks," I was told. I mentioned that management had said first thing this morning that it was available. "Well, where are they?" demanded the RMT.

During that call, TfL tried ringing me. I now rang them back. Any developments? "A third of trains are now running," I was told. But what about talks? The RMT is about to issue a call for you to meet them at Acas or anywhere else, I said, relaying what I'd just been told. "They must be joking! We were ready to go on talking last night." Do they need to call the strike off first, I inquired. They'd told me it would continue as planned. "No!" cried TfL. "We'll meet them any time, anywhere.

I'd ask them all round to my place, but they'd probably disagree about where I live.

As the sides turn to name-calling, Tony Travers asks in the Evening Standard if the RMT have over-stretched and senses that the Mayor might be up for a fight:

"...the RMT does not want long stoppages. Because Tube drivers are relatively well paid - many have mortgages and other accoutrements of a bourgeois lifestyle - a long strike would cause big economic problems for them.

"The union, which generally doesn't care about public opinion, may also find itself being tarred with the same "fat cat" brush being used on bankers and MPs.

"These are changing times and people are changing their views. They might even be willing to back a mayor who took on the mighty RMT."

We'll see. One thing is for sure though - just as happened after the terror attacks - when their normal modes of transport are taken away, Londoners discover that the alternative methods of travel just aren't that bad at all... Boris Johnson would do well to consider the importance of the Thames in a transport squeeze.