London Underground train workers begin new strike

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London commuters faced travel misery during Monday's early rush-hour as workers on the Underground train system began the latest in a string of 24-hour strikes over staffing cuts.

Following strikes in September, October and earlier this month, thousands of staff began to walk out from around 6:30 pm (1830 GMT) Sunday in protest at plans to axe 800 ticket office jobs.

Transport for London (TfL) said it would run as many trains as possible Monday but that services would not return to normal until Tuesday.

"The impact of the action has kicked in earlier than on previous strikes as Rail, Maritime and Transport Union members remain rock solid," said an RMT spokesman.

A TfL spokesman dismissed the union's statement

"The claim that the strike is already causing significant disruption is simply untrue," the spokesman said.

"One hundred percent of our usual train service is in operation, and only a few stations have closed early."

The planned job cuts come amid an austerity drive in Britain, where the coalition government last month announced average spending cuts of 19 percent across departments.

© 2010 AFP

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