London's Underground has had to deal with tens of thousands more commuters during rush hour as a result of the 48-hour walkout by Docklands Light Railway (DLR) staff.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union began their two-day walkout at 3:59am on 3 November following their ongoing dispute with KeolisAmey Docklands (KAD), which operates the DLR on behalf of Transport for London (TfL), over allegations of intimidation and use of agency staff.
The walkout meant the services on the DLR – which is used by around 300,000 people every day – were not in operation during peak times in London.
The Jubilee, Central, District, Hammersmith & City and London Overground line services in east London became more strained because of the lack of DLR service, with stations such as London Bridge and Canada Water experiencing severe overcrowding.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said the union members had been rock solid so far in their strike action and were not intending to back down for day two of the walkout, on 4 November.
"I want to pay tribute to their unity and determination as they fight to defend safe operational practices and the basic principles of workplace justice," Cash said.
"Pickets have been out in force and it's now time for KeolisAmey to recognise the sheer strength of feeling on the shop floor and to get round the table for meaningful talks that address the raft of serious issues at the heart of this dispute.
"The disruption caused by the shutdown of DLR this morning is entirely down to the intransigence of the KAD management and now it's time for them to stop the posturing and start talking. "
TfL's DLR boss Rory O'Neill said he was disappointed by the strike. "The only way to resolve their dispute with KeolisAmey Docklands is through meaningful discussion rather than unnecessary strike action," he said.
"We have put on extra buses on existing bus routes that operate along the DLR route and staff will also be available to help. Other TfL services are operating but will be busier than normal, particularly at key interchanges with the DLR network. We ask customers to consider avoiding the busiest times if they can."
Kevin Thomas, managing director of KeolisAmey Docklands, claimed that RMT would rather strike than seek to resolve the issues.
"We have held a number of meetings with RMT representatives in recent weeks, and it is clear that all of the issues they have raised can be resolved, or, in some cases, removed from the dispute and managed through the established appropriate channels," he said.
"It is extremely frustrating that RMT appear intent on proceeding with strike action rather than seeking resolution to the issues. Such action will cause unnecessary disruption for our passengers, which I believe is avoidable."