London strikes latest LIVE: Tens of thousands take part in central London protest
Tens of thousands of striking workers have taken part in protests through central London.
Huge numbers of strikers joined a protest outside Downing Street while the Chancellor was delivering the Budget in the nearby House of Commons.
Union leaders have been addressing a rally in Trafalgar Square where they have strongly criticised the Government over its handling of the public sector disputes. Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, told the crowds: “We will strike until we win.”
Hundreds of picket lines were mounted outside government offices, schools, hospitals, universities and Tube stations on Wednesday as the biggest walkout for years threatened to overshadow the Budget.
Up to half a million junior doctors, teachers, civil servants, lecturers, London Underground drivers, BBC journalists and Amazon workers are taking industrial action. The disputes are over pay, jobs, pensions, conditions and cuts, with warnings of more strikes if they are not resolved.Sadiq Khan hit back after the Prime Minster blamed Wednesday’s Tube strikes on the “incompetent running of TfL”.
During PMQs Rishi Sunak said TfL bosses were responsible for the “misery being inflicted on Londoners” as Underground workers again walked out in a long running dispute over pay and conditions.
Mr Sunak said the Mayor has received £6bn in additional funding for transport, adding: “So for us to be in a situation that we find ourselves in today is simply unacceptable.”
How will strikes affect London’s transport network today?
06:56 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Little or no service expected across the Tube network
Those who need to travel by other means are advised to allow more time for their journey
Services expected to run as normal
Expected to be busier than usual, with queuing systems in place
Some services will be unable to stop at all stations due to Tube closure
No service between Paddington and Abbey Wood/Stratford before 7.30am or after 10.30pm
Tube station closures may mean some services can’t stop at all usual stations
Services expected to be busier than usual, with possible queueing systems
DLR and trams
Services expected to run as normal
No step-free access at Bank DLR. Must be accessed via Monument entrance, if station is able to open
Expected to run as normal
Services will be much busier than usual, particularly from mainline stations
Thank you for following the Evening Standard’s coverage of the strikes in London
18:33 , Barney Davis
Transport for London (TfL) has said continued disruption is expected to last until Thursday morning.
There are 14 train companies which will be affected by the staff walkouts on Thursday, these are expected to be:
Cross Country Trains
East Midlands Railway,c2c,
Great Western Railway,
South Western Railway
GTR (including Gatwick Express)
Goodnight and good luck.
Report of Uber charging £50 and over for a 3 mile journey during strikes
18:27 , Barney Davis
One Londoner hit out at Uber for adding a surge to the cost of a taxi in the middle of a rush hour during the tube strike.
My current @Uber quotes for a 3.2 mile trip.
And they say they don’t exploit the weather or train strikes?! 🤔
I would bloody walk in protest if I didn’t just have knee surgery last week! 😢#taxi #TubeStrike #tfl #london #uber #uberdriver pic.twitter.com/xSUE0huf63
— Sabrina Chevannes (@SChevannes) March 15, 2023
Mother claims desperate bus driver stuck in tube strike traffic got off bus to go for loo
18:14 , Barney Davis
A mother has claimed her child witnessed a bus driver leave the wheel to go to the loo as others speak of waiting for an hour in the rain for a bus to turn up during a miserable evening rush hour.
Lawyer Louise Rowntree tweeted: “My son’s been stuck on a bus for an hour & gone 3 stops: bus driver just got out to go to the loo! Poor bus drivers (and anyone who needs to strike to get a fair pay) #TubeStrike #GeneralStrike”
Literally been waiting an hour in the rain for a bus that are taking 5 times as long to turn up #TubeStrike #London pic.twitter.com/VhFuyBD1dy
— Emb Hashmi (@EmbJournalist) March 15, 2023
TfL worker offers insight into strike day in viral TikTok
17:14 , Barney Davis
Speeches at 50,000 strong Trafalgar rally
17:09 , Barney Davis
A rally in Trafalgar Square, which organisers said was attended by 50,000 people, heard strong criticism from union leaders over the government’s handling of the public sector disputes.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said the size of the demonstration proved that support for industrial action remained strong among teachers, and maintained that backing from parents was increasing.
“We are striking for the education service, and parents understand very well what is at stake. Through serial neglect, and over more than a decade, this Government has driven schools and colleges into the ground.”
Jo Grady, general secretary of the University and College Union said there had been a breakthrough in the university dispute.
“Today, on our 10th day of strike action and after weeks of intensive negotiations, university employers have finally agreed to put forward a set of proposals on pay, conditions and pensions. This breakthrough is down to the strength, determination and sacrifice of university workers who have stood on picket lines.
“The proposals will now move through our union’s democratic processes, and strike action will continue until our 70,000 UCU members have had the chance to have their say.”
The focus on strikes will return to the railways on Thursday when members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at 14 train operators will strike in a long running dispute over pay and conditions.
Ingenious Londoner uses travel pillow for long-haul bus journey
17:08 , Barney Davis
Perfect tube strike preparation for the longer commute this morning.
This woman came prepared with a travel pillow #TubeStrike pic.twitter.com/EAIY6xfneq
— Canaffle Dax ✨ (@Canaffle) March 15, 2023
Labour MP criticises Budget for bankers at Trafalgar rally
16:57 , Barney Davis
Zarah Sultana, the MP for Coventry South, has spoken to crowds of thousands at the rally at Trafalgar Square today.
She said: “Unlike a lot of MPs I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. What I did have were teachers who encouraged me and who taught me so much, I simply wouldn’t be here without them.
“You’re here today because you’re being let down. Our schools are in crisis, you are overworked and underpaid and you’re not the only ones.
“You can see that from the budget today. We’ve got a budget for the bankers and big corporations and the very rich, but no one else.
“The Government has no answer so instead they whip up hatred and fear.
“It’s not refugees that drive down wages and hike up rents, it’s greedy bosses and wealthy landlords.
“It’s not refugees that have let our schools and hospitals fall into ruin, it’s this Tory Government.”
Organisers of the Trafalgar Square rally said at least 40,000 people took part in today’s protest.
16:41 , Barney Davis
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, told the crowds that junior doctors had saved his life when he had a heart transplant.
He said 30% of PCS members in some Government departments were on the minimum wage.
He added: “We will strike until we win.”
All tube lines suspended ahead of evening rush hour
16:28 , Barney Davis
Best of luck finding your way home Londoners.
All tube lines are currently suspended ahead of the evening rush with only the Elizabeth Line, Overground, DLR and Trams still running.
Teacher humour on display in Trafalgar Square
16:22 , Barney Davis
The teachers are here in Trafalgar Square saying #SaveOurSchools on #BudgetDay2023 pic.twitter.com/ex70PyyzLl
— Natalie Bennett (@natalieben) March 15, 2023
50,000 teachers join central London strike claims NEU boss
15:53 , Barney Davis
Thousands of striking teachers gathered in Trafalgar Square to hear speeches at the end of a march in support of National Education Union strikes on Wednesday.
General Secretary of the NEU Kevin Courtney told crowds as many as 50,000 members joined the strikes across central London today.
Speaking to @NEUnion members in Trafalgar Square JGS @cyclingkev says that 50,000 members joined the demonstration in the capital today. pic.twitter.com/D8UDeRmyil
— tilda martin (@matilda__martin) March 15, 2023
Around 1,000 BBC journalists have walked out over cuts to local radio
15:33 , Barney Davis
BBC London’s news coverage has been hit by disruption after around 1,000 journalists began a 24-hour strike over local radio cuts.
BBC London news coverage impacted as staff stage 24-hour strike over local radio cuts
On film: Hundreds of thousands strike in UK over pay
15:10 , Daniel Keane
Over 40,000 take part in strikes rally in Trafalgar Square
14:55 , Daniel Keane
Organisers of the Trafalgar Square rally said at least 40,000 people took part in today's protest.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services union, told the crowds that junior doctors had saved his life when he had a heart transplant.
He said 30 per cent of PCS members in some Government departments were on the minimum wage.
Budget ‘did not put NHS on better path’, says union chief
14:38 , Daniel Keane
A senior nursing union official has said that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s budget “did not put” the NHS on a “better path” as he failed to unveil a workforce plan.
The Royal College of Nursing's director for England, Patricia Marquis, said: “Jeremy Hunt is on the record less than a year ago raising the alarm over the greatest workforce crisis in NHS history but as Chancellor he is not yet gripping it.
"The Chancellor found billions to cut fuel duties but left those working in health and care with little assurance they will get the funding that is urgently required.
"Without staff, the NHS cannot plan for recovery in patient and public services - yet there was only a passing reference to the long-awaited workforce plan.”
Teaching industry ‘completely unrecognisable’
14:08 , Bill Mcloughlin
Speaking from the teachers' protest assembling at Hyde Park, Kate Stevens, who has been a teacher for 40 years, told PA: "The profession is completely unrecognisable compared to what it was when I started. Young teachers are saying that they are no longer able to stay in the profession, I came out today to fight for them.
"Teachers are incredibly overstretched, what they are having to deal with is so beyond acceptable and the children are suffering as a result.
"It seems almost impossible for teachers these days to maintain a good quality of life given the wages they are on.
"One teacher I know has two young children, she is one of the first people to arrive at school in the morning and one of the last to leave, and then has to go home and work long hours in the evening, all while paying huge amounts for childcare."
We’re striking to defend public service broadcasting, says journalist
13:49 , Bill Mcloughlin
Susana Mendonca, a political reporter for BBC Radio London and its National Union of Journalists (NUJ) rep, said union members are not striking over pay, but instead to save the future of local journalism.
Speaking outside Broadcasting House in central London: "We're not striking about pay. I know there are a lot of people out striking today for all sorts of different reasons but we're not here striking about pay.
"We're here striking because we believe in protecting that key pillar of public service broadcasting and we feel that this move away from the localism element of local radio will mean that our audiences don't get properly served.
"And also it will distance our audiences from the BBC and our local audiences listen because they want to know about what's happening in London.
"BBC Radio London is exactly that, we're about London and if our programmes end up being about other things then you're losing that connection with your audience, which I don't think is a positive thing for the BBC."
BBC journalists could strike again, says union
13:47 , Bill Mcloughlin
Paul Siegert, from the National Union of Journalists, says BBC workers may be forced to strike again if the dispute isn’t resolved.
Explaining what that means, he says: “In local radio, regional TV, good will is really important - people tend to work extra hours, they come in early, they go home late, they cover for their colleagues who have gone off sick.
“That will all stop as part of the work to rule - we hope that will have an impact, we hope that will get the BBC back around the negotiating table.”
He said that if the BBC doesn’t negotiate, the union will discuss further strike dates such as the local elections on May 5 and the King’s Coronation on May 6.
Pictured: Civil servants descend on Downing Street as part of strikes
13:27 , Daniel Keane
Hundreds of striking civil servant members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) have descended on Downing Street as part of their strike for a pay rise.
After walking from theTtube station at Embankment, the demonstrators stopped on Whitehall outside Downing Street for a rally.
They chanted "what do we want?, "10%", "when do we want it?" and "now".
Working conditions ‘really poor’, say teachers
13:10 , Daniel Keane
Speaking from the teachers' protest at Hyde Park, Emmanuel Adebayo, 36, who teaches at a primary school in Haringey said working conditions in the industry were “really poor”.
He said: “We don't have glue sticks to offer and we can't take the children on trips. This isn't the experience I had growing up and I don't want this to be all that my pupils have access to.
"Often it is SEN (Special Educational Needs) children and other vulnerable pupils who are impacted the worst as they can't access the resources they need to succeed.
"I have considered leaving teaching but I love my job. That's why I'm here today, to make sure that things are better for other teachers to come."
Tory MP hits out at Khan over strikes
12:47 , Daniel Keane
Tory MP Bob Blackman has taken aim at Mayor Sadiq Khan over today’s Tube strikes.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, he noted that Mr Khan had promised “zero” strikes when running for office in 2016.
“Today is the 135th day of strikes,” he claimed.
Responding, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that “misery” was being “inflicted on Londoners by the incompetent running of TfL”.
Top doctor warns of continued disruption to London NHS services
12:25 , Daniel Keane
One of London’s most senior medical officials has warned that the capital faces prolonged disruption amid the junior doctors strike.
The strike, which began on Monday, will not end until 7am on Thursday morning and involves tens of thousands of members of the British Medical Association (BMA).
NHS London Medical Director Dr Chris Streather said: “The NHS is working hard to ensure everyone gets the care they need during this period of industrial action.
“People who need emergency and critical care are being prioritised and we’re asking everyone in London to continue to access healthcare services appropriately, using NHS 111 online or calling 111 where possible for non-urgent needs.
“The 111 service can direct you to the best place to get help, with call handlers able to direct people to the most appropriate service, including advising where attending A&E urgently may be needed. People should of course always use 999 in a life-threatening emergency.”
BBC workers ‘forced to strike’, says McDonnell
12:15 , Daniel Keane
Former Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell has said BBC journalists have been "forced to strike" by proposed cuts to local radio as he attended a picket line in solidarity.
Mr McDonnell, who is secretary of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) cross-party parliamentary group, told the PA news agency outside BBC Broadcasting House in central London: "These workers have been forced to strike and this isn't about pay or anything like this.
"This is about maintaining their professional standards in the BBC and local journalism.
"We've got to get across to the BBC itself just how important this is because as soon as you start undermining one of the foundations of public service broadcasting like this, the whole edifice of the BBC comes under challenge.
"So these workers have been forced - they've tried every other negotiation with the BBC to make them see sense."
He added: "We think this is all resolvable, but they've got to recognise the importance of local BBC radio stations."
‘This is going to be a long dispute’, says union official
11:58 , Daniel Keane
Aslef’s London organiser Finn Brennan has told the Standard he believes that the Tube strikes will be a “long dispute”.
“It’s going to take as long as it takes until we can come to a sensible, negotiated settlement.”
Transport for London insists that no proposals to change staff pensions have been tabled. Mr Brennan said TfL was being “disingenuous”.
He said: “Them saying that is rather like the football club that says we have complete faith in the manager before sacking them. It’s not an assurance that anyone takes seriously.”
BBC ‘disappointed’ that strike has gone ahead
11:44 , Daniel Keane
Reacting to the strikes, a BBC spokesperson said: “We're sorry that audiences will experience some changes to local TV and radio services in England as a result of industrial action by the National Union of Journalists. We have tried to minimise disruption as much as possible.
"We are obviously disappointed that the strike has gone ahead. We have a plan to modernise local services across England - including more news journalists and a stronger local online service - which will see no overall reduction in staffing levels or local funding. Our goal is a local service across TV, radio and online that delivers even greater value to communities.
"We will continue to engage with the trade union and do everything possible to minimise the impact on staff."
BBC staff walk out
11:28 , Daniel Keane
BBC journalists walked out just after 11am on Wednesday from the radio and main entrances at Broadcasting House in central London.
Around 25 journalists left the building to join officials from the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).
BBC employees across England are walking out for 24 hours in protest against proposed cuts to the broadcaster's local radio output.
The demonstrators held placards reading "stop the cuts" and "save local news", while one homemade sign read "keep BBC radio local".
They chanted "save local radio" and "keep local radio local".
Labour MP and former shadow chancellor John McDonnell also attended.
Traffic levels down in London as public works from home
11:12 , Daniel Keane
Geolocation technology company TomTom said traffic in London is lighter than normal, indicating that many people who usually commute on Wednesdays are working from home instead.
The congestion level - which represents the proportion of additional time needed for journeys compared with free-flow conditions - was 78 per cent at 8am.
This is down from 84 per cent a week earlier.
Education Secretary ‘disappointed’ by strikes
11:01 , Daniel Keane
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan has said she is “disappointed” by strike action by teachers taking place today.
In an open letter to parents, shared with the BBC, she said that young people would “once again miss invaluable time learning with their teachers and friends, particularly after their education was significantly disrupted during the pandemic”.
She pledged to offer talks “on the condition that strike action is paused”, which is “the same condition, made to unions representing nurses, ambulance workers and physiotherapists”.
Pictured: Cyclists and buses at Bank station during rush hour
10:50 , Daniel Keane
Labour MP donates £3k to strike fund
10:34 , Daniel Keane
Nadia Whittome, Labour MP for Nottingham East, has donated £3,000 to a strike fund for teachers and support staff in the area.
She said: "Teachers and support staff in Nottingham work tirelessly to give young people the best start in life. Thanks to 13 years of Conservative governments, they are underpaid, overworked and stretched thinner than ever.
"While the decision to strike will not have been an easy one, this dispute is not only about ensuring that teaching staff can provide for their families in a cost of living crisis, but for the future of our education system which cannot continue to treat educators this way."
"The Government must come to the table and make a serious offer to bring this dispute to an end. In the meantime, I hope that my donation will help ensure school staff in Nottingham do not fall into hardship as a result of taking strike action."
‘This is our biggest Tube strike since the 1990s’
10:24 , Daniel Keane
Mr Brennan went on to say that the Tube strike is the biggest on the network since the 1990s.
“There is really strong support from our members who are absolutely determined to protect their working conditions and their pensions.
"We haven't announced any other action yet, but unless TfL accept that change can only come about by agreement then I think we can expect to see more taking place over a long period of time. Our members are very, very determined."
Tube drivers ‘determined’ to work for working conditions and pensions
10:12 , Daniel Keane
Tube train drivers are "absolutely determined" to fight for their working conditions and pensions, an Aslef representative has said.
Speaking from a picket line in Brixton, Aslef district organiser Finn Brennan accused the Government of causing the strikes by “failing” to properly fund Transport for London (TfL).
“Post-pandemic they've been left with a massive hole in their budget, and they're trying to fill that hole by cutting staff numbers, cutting staff working conditions and cutting staff pensions.
"We're happy to discuss and negotiate changes, but our members won't accept change being forced upon them. So what we're looking for from this dispute is TfL to accept that changes have to come about by negotiation and by agreement, not be imposed upon staff."
BBC London staff to strike at 11am
09:58 , Daniel Keane
Staff at BBC Local Radio will strike from 11am today, impacting coverage of the Budget.
Over 1,000 members of the National Union Journalists (NUJ) will mount picket lines across the country over proposed changes to staffing.
The strikes will impact BBC Radio services in London.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: “Staff are striking this week as a last resort – they are under no illusion that the BBC’s plans will undermine already hollowed out local radio content across England.
“It’s not simply a question about jobs and conditions for our members – they believe passionately in the value that quality local content brings to their audiences, journalism that is trusted and relied upon in the communities they serve.
“The BBC’s raiding of local radio budgets to fund its Digital First strategy is wrongheaded and risks undermining a vital part of our public service broadcasting.
“People want local relevant news that is accessible, and that should remain a core part of the breadth of BBC output.”
Pictured: Junior doctors on the picket line
09:49 , Daniel Keane
Junior doctors have returned to the picket line for the third day in a row in a bitter dispute with the Government over pay.
The 72-hour walkout will continue until 8am on Thursday, with consultants stepping in to cover in emergency care.
The British Medical Association is seeking a 35 per cent pay rise to correct what they claim is years of pay erosion by inflation.
Train strikes tomorrow to cause chaos on London commuter network
09:33 , Daniel Keane
Commuters face further travel chaos tomorrow as train strikes by the RMT bring much of the railway network to a standstill.
But how will they affect services into London?
- Gatwick Express: Two trains per hour will run between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport on Thursday
- South Western Railway: On Thursday there will be a significantly reduced service and only between London Waterloo and each of Basingstoke, Southampton, Windsor and Woking, and between Guildford and Woking, and Salisbury and Basingstoke
- Southeastern: No trains will run on the vast majority of the network in Kent and East Sussex.
- Southern: Services running include between London Bridge and each of Brighton, Gatwick Airport and Three Bridges, between London Victoria and Brighton, and along the south coast
More Tube strikes ‘likely’ if dispute not resolved, warns union official
09:20 , Daniel Keane
More Tube strikes are “likely” without a resolution to the current dispute over pensions and staffing changes, a union official has warned.
Aslef district organiser Finn Brennan told the BBC that the industrial action was “not about pay”.
He said: "We have always said we are prepared to negotiate change but, quite understandably and quite rightly, our members are not prepared to pay the price for the hole that has been left in TfL's budget by the government's failure to properly fund public transport in London.”
Ticket booking app reveals £6m daily plunge in revenue due to strike
09:11 , Daniel Keane
Online rail ticketing business Trainline lost up to £6 million a day during strike days, new figures have revealed.
The group said ongoing industrial action on UK railways cost it £5 million to £6 million in gross sales impact on average per strike day.
However, Trainline said a rise in international travel demand in particular boosted overall revenues, with overseas ticket sales up 95 per cent in a three-year comparison.
The figures come as the RMT prepare to stage industrial action on Britain’s railways tomorrow and on Saturday.
London hospitals report ‘busiest Monday of the year'
09:03 , Daniel Keane
A London hospital reported its busiest Monday so far this year during the junior doctors strike as the walkout entered its third day.
St George’s, Epsom and St Helier’s hospitals in south west London saw more than 1,000 people attend their emergency departments over the course of Monday - despite pleas to only attend A&E in a medical emergency during the strike.
It is the equivalent of one person every 90 seconds.
Epsom and St Helier hospitals surpassed 500 attendances in their emergency departments on Monday for only the second time in 2023, while the 475 attendances at St George’s was the second busiest Monday this year.
Dr Richard Jennings, Group Chief Medical Officer for St George’s, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and Health Group, said: “Our hospitals are busier than ever, and Monday was a challenging day for everyone.
“We’ve worked very hard to prepare for these strikes, but it’s inevitable that services across our hospitals are affected.
“We are always here for those who need care – and if it’s an emergency or life-threatening, or you have an appointment, you must continue to come forward. But to everyone else, I make this plea: use our services wisely, and help us to ensure we can provide care to those who are most in need.”
‘I sincerely apologise to parents for the disruption’ - teaching union chief
08:37 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
A teaching union leader has apologised to parents for the disruption Wednesday’s strike action is causing.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), told Times Radio today’s teaching strikes are “actually fighting for” children and their best interests.
“But I do sincerely apologise to parents for the disruption to education today, and the disruption to their home and their working lives,” he added.
“We think that parents understand the point that we’re making – that this generation of children, so hard-hit by Covid, has been ignored by this Government.”
Teaching union chief blames Education Secretary for today’s action
08:34 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Education Secretary Gillian Keegan is to blame for teaching strikes going ahead today, the joint general-secretary of the National Education Union (NEU) has said.
Kevin Courtney told Times Radio: “It is Gillian Keegan who is out of step – she just won’t sit down and talk with us and make offers to resolve the dispute.”
He added: “Gillian Keegan is terrified of us calling strikes because she knows we’ve got parental support.
“We are using the strike to create pressure on the Government to make a proper offer which helps our children’s education.
“Our members are on strike today actually for the highest motives – they are trying to improve the education of children because they are seeing the disruption that is happening in our schools every day.”
Junior doctors walk out for a third day
08:29 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
NHS junior doctors are walking out for a third consecutive day today, as they remain locked in a dispute over pay.
Members of the BMA started their three-day strike action on Monday, and are being joined today by HCSA junior doctors today.
Consultants and other senior doctors will be brought in to cover for their absence, but the NHS is still expecting “major disruption”.
Read more here.
Met Police forensics specialists to be hit by strike action today
08:14 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Met Police staff including crime scene examiners and other forensic specialists are due to walk out today, as members of the Prospect trade union take strike action.
Scotland Yard acknowledged this “may cause concern for members of the public” about how police will manage to attend crime scenes, process examinations and deal with calls.
The force assured it has “put several measures in place to mitigate the reduction in staff”.
It said that in “non-urgent” cases, people may be asked to “preserve some items and surfaces” until experts can attend tomorrow.
“We appreciate that a period of waiting may cause concern, but we are committed to reducing and managing the impact of the strike action to ensure we continue to do all we can to support victims, investigations and maintain key evidence capture in our pursuit to bring offenders to justice,” said a spokesperson.
“We will prioritise our response and support in attending the most serious crime scenes, and undertake urgent and critical laboratory, and digital forensic examinations, making best use of staff on duty to cover as many scenes and requests as quickly as we can.”
More Tube strikes ‘very likely’, says union organiser
07:54 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Finn Brennan, district organiser for the London underground for train driver union Aslef, has told radion station he thinks more strikes are “very likely unless there is a change of course from the Government who are pulling the strings at TfL”.
“And unless London underground is properly funded, so we can deliver a decent service for the people of London,” he added.
Mr Brennan earlier praised all unions striking today for timing their strikes to be simultaneous.
“It is rock solid action,” he said. “All of these strikes come from the same root cause: the failure by the Government to fund the vital public services that people need.”
Tube workers not striking for more pay, says Aslef organiser
07:46 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
An Aslef organiser has denied that London underground workers are striking to earn more pay.
Finn Brennan, its district organiser for the London underground, told LBC: “This is actually the first time Aslef have taken action across the underground since 2015. It comes after our members voted by 99 per cent in favour of the strike.
“It is not a strike about pay, it is not a strike looking for more time off.
“We simply want TfL to commit to negotiate with us about changes instead of trying to impose changes.
“There is a huge hole in TfL’s budget as a result of the pandemic and they want to fill that by cutting staff numbers, cutting working conditions and crucially cutting staff pensions.
“We have always said we are prepared to negotiate change but quite understandably and quite rightly our members are not prepared to pay the price for the hole that has been left in TfL’s budget by the Government’s failure to properly fund public transport in London.”
Pictured: Southwark among central London Tube stations to shut
07:38 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Travellers arriving in UK warned of long queues amid Border Force walkout
07:35 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
The government has warned travellers arriving in the UK today to expect long queues as Border Force staff join the huge day of cross-sector industrial action.
Every airport and port in the UK is due to be affected as more than 130,000 Public and Commerical Services (PCS) Union members at government departments and agencies - including Border Force - walk out until around 7am tomorrow.
People travelling into the UK “should be prepared to face longer wait times at UK border control” and should check with their travel providers before travelling, the government has said.
Read more here.
Who is striking today, and how will it affect me?
07:17 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Hundreds of thousands of workers from several trade unions will strike on Wednesday in what threatens to be the biggest single day of industrial action since the current wave of unrest started last year.
Junior doctors, teachers and civil servants are striking today along with Underground workers, in another so-called ‘Walkout Wednesday’ that is expected to bring wide-scale disruption.
For a full breakdown of the strikes, and information on how they will affect Londoners, read our wrap here.
Photos show Underground stations shut, commuters piling onto buses
07:08 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Huge day of strikes begins
06:47 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks
Good morning, and welcome to the Standard’s live blog.
Today we’ll be bringing you everything you need to know as Tube staff, junior doctors, teachers and civil servants including Border Force staff stage a huge day of strike action.
Follow along for all the latest updates.