In Depth

DLR strike: London commuter chaos as 48-hour walkout begins

RMT strike action follows ‘comprehensive breakdown’ in industrial relations

Staff on London’s Docklands Light Railway (DLR) have begun a 48-hour strike, with services affected from 4am today through to Good Friday morning.

The walkout comes after two days of talks between the RMT union and KeolisAmey Docklands (KAD), which operates the DLR, failed to resolve the dispute, amid claims of a “comprehensive breakdown” in industrial relations.

The Jubilee, Central, District and Hammersmith and City Lines in east London, and the London Overground between Highbury and Islington and Surrey Quays, are all expected to be busier than usual.

Travellers “seeking alternative routes on Southeastern services have not been able to board”, says the London Evening Standard. Meanwhile, “shouting and pushing” was reported on crammed services from Greenwich.

One frustrated commuter tweeted about scenes of “chaos”.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash insisted the striking rail workers had been left with no other option, saying: “RMT members employed by KAD have had enough of being treated like dirt.

“This dispute is over the fundamental issues of workplace justice, fairness, the outsourcing of key functions, and sticking to agreements and practices that Keolis seem to believe that they can trample all over.”

A “second phase of action is planned to coincide with the London Marathon next month”, says the BBC.

Mark Davis, TfL’s interim general manager of the DLR, said: “KAD predict that it is unlikely that any DLR services will run on Wednesday and Thursday due to strike action by the RMT union.”

TfL currently lists the DLR as operating a reduced service, running between London City Airport and Canning Town and between Beckton and Poplar only, with no service on the rest of the line.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan today refused to intervene in the dispute.

His spokesman said: “This dispute is between KAD and the RMT.

“The mayor continues to urge both sides to get back around the negotiating table and reach an agreement to avoid further disruption for Londoners and visitors.”

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