Ministers accused of ‘scary’ strikes as tube motion disrupts London journey

  • UK News
  • February 19, 2022
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Ministers have been accused of “intentionally scary” strikes as industrial motion on the underground in London triggered journey disruption.

Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) employees walked out on Friday over points together with jobs and pensions, halting most companies on tube strains throughout the capital’s transport community.

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, accused the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, of scary strikes as a precursor to laws stopping future industrial motion by commerce unions.

“The best way the federal government is behaving, it’s virtually like they’re intentionally scary strikes throughout the nation, not simply within the transport sector however in different sectors, as a precursor for laws to curtail the rights of commerce unions to go on strike,” he mentioned.

Khan mentioned he and the RMT union had been “on the identical aspect right here”. “No one needs the federal government to be attaching unreasonable situations to our deal,” he mentioned, and that it was “abnormal Londoners, commuters and companies who’re caught within the crossfire”.

He added: “I’m eager to ensure we get the absolute best deal for TfL [Transport for London] as a result of we gained’t get a nationwide restoration and not using a London restoration. We merely is not going to get a London restoration until TfL fires on all cylinders. What we don’t need are unreasonable, draconian strings hooked up by the federal government.”

In contrast, Liz Truss, the favorite to turn into the brand new Conservative celebration chief and prime minister, mentioned she wouldn’t let the UK be “held to ransom by militant commerce unionists”.

The TfL web site confirmed companies on the overwhelming majority of tube strains had been suspended, with a really restricted operation elsewhere.

There was additionally disruption to bus companies in west and south-west London and components of Surrey. This was the results of a strike on Friday and Saturday by London bus drivers who’re members of Unite, in a separate dispute over pay. TfL mentioned 63 bus routes had been being affected.

The strike motion got here as rail union leaders warned {that a} long-running dispute over pay, jobs and dealing situations would proceed “for so long as it takes”.

Nonetheless, a brand new survey instructed that just one in eight folks have had their journey plans affected by rail strikes. In keeping with the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics, 13% of adults questioned between 3 and 14 August mentioned industrial motion had disrupted their plans.

Of those that mentioned that they had been affected, 4% mentioned that they had been unable to work, 4% had been unable to attend a medical appointment and a couple of% mentioned that they had been unable to take care of pals or household.

On Saturday, rail employees will strike once more, which may even have an effect on Sunday morning prepare companies. The Unite bus strike will have an effect on London United routes via west and south-west London and components of Surrey.

TfL urged folks to keep away from utilizing the tube and solely journey if important on the remainder of the community on Friday and till 8am on Saturday.

Throughout the nation, tens of 1000’s of members of the RMT, the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Affiliation (TSSA) and Unite walked out on Thursday, leading to about one in 5 trains operating, with some areas having no companies all day.

Mick Lynch, the overall secretary of the RMT, mentioned: “We’re very sorry that persons are inconvenienced. I imply, we’re inconveniencing folks which might be in the identical boat as us. We’re abnormal women and men that wish to do our jobs and supply a service, however once you’re being reduce to items by an employer, and by the federal government, you’ve obtained to make a stand.

“So we’re making that stand on behalf of our members, however many different employees in Britain are struggling some very related issues and also you’re going to see a wave of this kind of motion. We will’t stand by and watch our situations be chopped up.”

The strikes got here as Downing Avenue denied that ministers had been intentionally searching for a political combat with rail unions after each side toughened their language additional.

“The precedence is on ensuring individuals who use public transport can get to work, faculty and hospital appointments with out such disruption,” a No 10 supply mentioned.

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