London, February 5 (RHC)-- Thousands of workers at London's Underground train system have stopped working in protest over job cuts. The 48-hour strike, which began at 9:00 p.m. local time on Tuesday, has forced dozens of Tube stations to shut down. Metro lines are now either entirely closed or provide limited services.
The Central line, which runs east-west through the heart of the capital London, is predicted to be particularly affected. The workers are demanding that the plans to close all ticket offices and cut 950 jobs be suspended.
The strike has been organized by two unions, namely the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA). The authorities say the cuts are necessary in order to modernize the system, and will result in 50 million pounds ($81.64 million) in savings annually.
The walkout is the latest in a series of industrial action on the Tube since UK Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government took office, promising belt-tightening measures to rein in a record deficit. Earlier in January, cleaners at London Underground staged a two-day strike, demanding better pay and working conditions.
Another similar strike will be planned for the next week if there is no deal between the government and labor unions. London's subway, which is the oldest in the world, carries nearly three million passengers every day.
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