LONDON: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he wanted to continue talking to the unions, but he made no new offers on staffing. He said: “I accept the argument that we need more staff on the London Underground. Already we have created 200 new posts and want to carry on talking if the trade unions are unhappy.” Asked if the strike was his responsibility, the mayor said: “We all have to take our fair share of responsibility. I think strikes ultimately are a sign of failure. This strike is completely unnecessary. All strikes can be called off and averted if reasonable minds get round a table and resolve things amicably … I condemn these strikes.
“We offered to talk to the trade unions, we spent all weekend talking to them. This is a historic dispute that began under Boris Johnson, huge progress has been made. Why strike? Why not resolve these things amicably?”
“These ticket offices closed down early last year. I was only elected in May. I asked the independent travel watchdog to undertake an independent review. They came back in December. We have been having good discussions with the trade unions and I think those discussions should have carried on.
“If we are still some distance apart the way to resolve that is not by going on strike. Millions of Londoners have suffered a miserable journey into today. We are losing millions of pounds with London businesses; patients can’t reach appointments, people with job interviews can’t reach job interviews and it is completely unnecessary.”
“There is a legitimate concern about lack of staff at some stations. That is a legitimate concern that trade unions have raise with me. And I’m responding to that by making sure that all the recommendations of the independent watchdog are implemented, but also offering up 200 new posts and additional staff north of 600. That shows the progress we made and that’s the difference talking can make.”