When did Bob Crow, the General Secretary of the RMT Union, last compare you to Hitler? For me and my Conservative colleagues on the London Assembly the answer is 'last Monday' when we released ‘Struck Out’, a report suggesting an alternative to strike action on the London Underground. 'Struck Out' makes the case for Parliament to pass legislation banning strike action on the Tube. In return transport unions would gain the right to binding pendulum arbitration if 50%+1 of their Members voted to take a dispute to that stage. The report finds that 59% of Londoners believe it is too easy to strike with only 14% believing that it’s too difficult.
Binding Pendulum Arbitration (BPA) would entail an independent arbiter choosing between two competing positions. So if Transport for London (TfL) calls for a pay freeze for Tube workers and the RMT want a 10% increase the arbiter would have to decide between those options. He cannot suggest a compromise. The result of this is that both parties have an incentive to be reasonable. Under BPA, calling for a ridiculous wage increase is not shrewd negotiating; it is simply a way of ensuring your opponent wins.
The current system - allowing a few unions to exploit their monopolistic position to squeeze ever more money out of London fare-payers and taxpayers by almost constantly threatening strike action - effectively encourages extremism. The unions who aim for the highest possible pay increases for their Members are likely to end up being most successful irrespective of the cost to ordinary Londoners.