All London Underground and Overground train lines have been suspended or partially suspended, and dozens of bus routes in the west of the city have been disrupted, according to Transport for London (TfL).
Tens of thousands of workers on the UK national rail network left on Thursday and will do so again on Saturday.
Commuters across the country have already been hit this year by union-led railroad strikes demanding pay and conditions for their members that better reflect the skyrocketing cost of living driven by energy price inflation.
The data showed inflation in July at 10.1%, the highest since February 1982, as rising energy prices from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hit consumers directly through their household accounts and indirectly through rising food prices. .
This has led to a standoff between firms that say rising costs and falling demand are limiting their negotiating space, unions that say their workers can’t afford to live, and the government, which is concerned that large wage increases could cause inflation.
“We don’t want to end up in the 1970s vicious circle where you end up with rising wages, rising inflation and so on and so forth. You will never get out of this,” Transport Minister Grant Shapps told the BBC.
The RMT said the underground strike was a response to the lack of guarantees for jobs and pensions from the TfL. In a letter to Shapps, the union accused him of waging an ideological war against railroad workers.
TfL itself is in lengthy negotiations with the government following the expiration of the emergency public funding deal, partly due to a drop in passenger numbers following the pandemic.
Workers in other UK industries are also planning future strikes or moving on to strike. These include port workers, lawyers, teachers, nurses, firefighters, garbage collectors, airport and postal workers.