London underground strike looks set to go ahead
London revellers face chaos on New Year's Eve, as transport staff looks set to strike on one of the busiest nights of the year.india Updated: Dec 31, 2005 18:47 IST
Hundreds of thousands of London revellers face transport chaos on New Year's Eve as some 4,000 Underground staff look set to strike on one of the busiest nights of the year.
The strike, which is set to begin at midday, will also prevent people from taking advantage of the free Underground service which had been planned to run from 2345 GMT.
The RMT union voted to strike over the introduction of new rosters which they said would reduce safety levels on the Tube.
London Underground and the Mayor Ken Livingstone have condemned the strike, saying it will ruin the night for Londoners.
Talks had been planned at the conciliation service ACAS on Thursday but the union failed to turn up.
"We are more than happy to call our strike action off if London Underground withdraw or suspend the rosters they intend to impose," an RMT spokesman told Reuters on Friday.
"Unfortunately so far there has been no word from London Underground that they intend to do that, in fact all the noises that have been made today indicate quite the opposite.
"At this stage it appears it is now likely to go ahead."
London Underground said the union's stance was totally unreasonable and said their demands would cause chaos.
"They should call off the strike and let London enjoy New Year's Eve."
A fireworks display is due to be held at the London Eye to welcome in the New Year.
A second underground strike has been set for Jan. 8/9.