London commuters threatened with tube strike

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Car Rental News - 28/04/2011


London commuters face yet another possible tube strike.

Executives of the RMT union will meet next week to set a date for strike action. This will be the most recent in a series of work stoppages to hit London’s tube network over recent months.

The impending action comes as a Conservative MP has called for tougher laws against industrial action. Members of RMT last staged a walkout last November.

The previous action resulted from a dispute over ticket office staffing levels. ASLEF, the other union representing train drivers, launched industrial action on Boxing Day over pay for bank holidays.

This latest action by RMT is a result of two union activists having been fired. RMT claims the two men, Arwyn Thomas and Eamon Lynch, were sacked over their activities with the union.

Transport for London denies the men lost their jobs over trade union activities. RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said the overwhelming vote by members in support of action by drivers shows that union membership is well aware of what can happen if it lets safety representatives and activists are ‘picked off’ against a backdrop of reported failures and breakdowns across the tube network that result directly from the very cuts members have been fighting against.

Dominic Raab, Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, condemned RMT’s action. Earlier this week, he introduced a Bill under the 10-minute rule.

The Bill would require strike action to be supported by the majority of union members. Mr Raab said ‘it beggars belief’ that the RMT secretary general could ‘inflict chaos’ when only 29 per cent of the union’s members had voted in favour of the action.

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