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Labour's union paymasters now plan to close down the rail network for four days next month

Train With the action by British Airways cabin crew from the Unite union (from whom Labour has received £11 million) causing disruption for those traveling by air, it is soon to be millions of rail passengers who will be subject to travel chaos.

The announcement has been made this evening that TSSA supervisors and RMT maintenance workers on the railways will walk out for four days after Easter between April 6th and 9th, while RMT signal staff will strike between 6am and 10am, and 6pm and 10pm on those days. They threaten an effective closing down of the country's entire rail network.

The RMT is no longer Labour-affiliated, but the TSSA has given Labour more than £350,000 since the last general election - over £220,000 of which has been donated since Gordon Brown became Prime Minister.

The timing of the strike is all the more politically toxic as April 6th looks increasingly likely as the date when Gordon Brown will go to Buckingham Palace to seek a dissolution of Parliament for the general election.

Shadow transport secretary, Theresa Villiers, who spoke just last week of the potential for a "Spring of discontent", issued the following condemnation of the plans:

“This national rail strike, the threat of a tube strike, and Unite’s action against BA risks bringing our vital transport network to a complete standstill. Families and businesses across the country will find it hard to sympathise with those who are content to hold the country ransom in this way.
“Militant unions are trying to drag us back to the 70s and the dying days of the last Labour Government with these reckless strikes on our airplanes and railways. After Gordon Brown took £11m from the union behind the BA strikes we now learn that he has taken over £200,000 from one of the unions behind these rail strikes. Once again the Prime Minister is in bed with the strikers and not standing up for ordinary travellers.”

Jonathan Isaby