London, July 9 (RHC)-- Thousands of workers at London's subway system have started an all-out strike over pay and conditions. Some 20,000 staff of the London's underground train network, known as the "Tube," left their posts on Wednesday in protest against their salaries and a plan for a new 24-hour service on weekends due to begin as of September.
The walkout, which has shut down all subway lines across London and is set to cause chaos for millions of travelers, officially began at 6:30 pm local time (1730 GMT) on Wednesday and will end at 21:30 pm local time (2030 GMT) on Thursday. London Underground managers had earlier warned that there could be no services on Thursday as a result of the strike.
An average of 2.0 percent pay rise plus inflation-linked rises for the next two years, and a £2,000 (USD 3,000) bonus for each driver has been offered for the new all-night Tube services, slated to start in some lines as of the next month.
However, the offer, proposed by London Underground managers, was rejected by all striking unions on Wednesday, namely, The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef), Transport Salaried Staffs Association, and Unite.
Finn Brennan, the district organizer of Aslef, accused the managers of playing "foolish games of brinkmanship."
London's subway, which is the oldest in the world, carries nearly three million passengers every day.
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