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London transit workers walk out in 1-day protest

In a new union challenge to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's government, a 24-hour subway and bus strike in London forced 21/2 million commuters to hike, jog, and cycle to work Wednesday.

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Further strikes against Mrs. Thatcher's local government reforms are expected today not only in London, but also Birmingham and other major cities in England and Scotland.

The transit strike came as the Thatcher government faced continued pressure from miners, who have been on strike for three weeks, protesting closure of state-run mines.

The London transit strike was called to protest the Conservative government's plans to put the city's public transport under direct government control, taking it away from the city government, which is currently run by the opposition Labor Party.

Irate union leaders charged this would mean a 50 percent cut in subsidies, 25 percent higher fares, closure of bus routes and subway stations, and would threaten 16,000 transport jobs.

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