Strike ban on Tube should be considered

The government should consider introducing a ban on strikes on the Tube, Conservatives on the London Assembly say. Their call follows threats made last week by the RMT to strike during Christmas and on New Year’s Eve. It also comes on the day the Tube union is expected to announce the result of a ballot of train drivers, who may work-to-rule in support of the workers threatening the Christmas strikes.

Chairman of the London Assembly Transport Committee and Conservative Member Roger Evans said, “Londoners are fed up with the RMT’s strike threats, especially when they are made during the festive period. Why should London be held to ransom by a minority of militant unionists? The government should consider introducing a ban on strikes on the Tube.”

This is the seventh year in the past decade the RMT has threatened strikes during the Christmas period. The Conservatives say enough is enough – and it is time a strike ban was considered.

Other options for reducing the impact of strikes could include: a system whereby strikers have their pay docked for a period of time or, bringing in a requirement that at least half the union’s membership actually have to vote for a strike. Currently, it is often the case that only a small proportion of the membership participate in ballots, leaving open the possibility that a few dozen members can hold London to ransom.”

The RMT is expected to announce later today the result of a ballot of 1500 train drivers for action short of a strike. This effectively means a work to rule – in support of the 1800 engineering staff, who agreed last Friday to strike on three of the days during the last week before Christmas. In a separate dispute about the length of the working week, the RMT also announced on Friday plans to ballot station staff, which could result in a strike on New Year’s Eve.


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