All services on the London Underground were shut down on Tuesday after thousands of subway workers went on strike 24 hours a day in a fierce battle for work, pensions and conditions.
The Rail, Shipping and Transport (RMT) Union said its members are “firmly supporting” the industrial activities that were causing travel turmoil throughout the capital.
The picket line was set up outside the subway station, and the union sought intervention from London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
Transport for London (TfL) has urged commuters to work from home or find alternative public transport for strikes.
An additional 24-hour strike will be held on Thursday, with a knock-on effect on the service on Wednesday and Friday.
Unions fear that spending cuts will lead to hundreds of unemployment and reductions in pensions and working conditions.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Sadiq Khan must confront the Tory minister who wants to unnecessarily attack the jobs, pensions and conditions of major transport workers.
“It was this political failure that forced tube workers to strike this week.
“Our members are forced to pay the price of a lawn war between the city hall and the government, and as we see throughout London today, they don’t have it.
“The mayor knows that plans to attack union members’ pensions and conditions are wrong, and unions will have no choice but to take industrial action.
“But last week, the mayor agreed to submit a proposal to the government that would bring about harmful changes to pensions.
“The mayor must decide whether he is on the side of the main workers who have kept London moving during the pandemic, or whether the Tory minister is keen to punish tube workers.
“If the mayor meets the reasonable demands of his own workforce, this dispute can be resolved.”
Andy Lord, Chief Operating Officer of TfL, said:
“We know that our customers are worth more than this, so we can help RMT find a solution to this dispute that threatens to recover from the London pandemic and stop this action. I encourage you to talk to me. “
A Khan spokesman said the strike would confuse Londoners and businesses trying to recover from the two catastrophic years.
“It will also hurt TfL’s earnings when TfL is already under huge financial burden due to a pandemic.
“TfL is working to mitigate the effects of strikes, but confusion is inevitable.
“The mayor asks Londoners who need to travel on March 1st and 3rd before traveling, considers whether they can work from home, and uses another mode of transportation if possible. I urge you to do so.
“Sadik doesn’t want to see the strike, so he begs the union to come to the table and work with the city hall and TfL.”
Passengers on southern trains also suffered turmoil unrelated to tube strikes.
Network Rail said a suspicious power failure led to a “total loss of signal” in Ashtead, Surrey.
This delayed the service between Epsom and Leatherhead operated by the Southern and South Western Railway.
Bus agency is required.
Passengers were even more disastrous due to the turmoil on the day the rail fare was raised.