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London Assembly gags criticism of union’s Royal wedding strike threat

Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat London Assembly members voted on Wednesday to gag Conservative members from debating a motion on the threat of a Tube strike on the day of the Royal wedding.

Conservative Transport spokesman, Richard Tracey AM tabled an urgent motion condemning “Aslef’s threat to strike on the day of the Royal wedding (29 April)” as it would “harm the experience of visitors to London, the capital’s economy, and the lives of Londoners.” However, Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat Assembly members refused to even debate the motion and every one voted against it being discussed.

Richard Tracey said:

“By voting against debate of Tube strikes, Assembly members are voting to ignore the concerns of Londoners. Tube strikes, especially on the day of the Royal wedding, are of serious worry to people.

“This was a clear tactic to gag criticism of the irresponsible and unreasonable behaviour by militant trade unions. If members want the Assembly to be relevant, then it needs to debate the issues that
matter most to Londoners.”

This is not the first the time discussion of union strikes has been curtailed on the Assembly. Chair of the Transport Committee, Val Shawcross refused to allow questions by Richard Tracey to be answer about strikes during the 2012 Olympics in a Committee meeting last week.

 The full text of the motion proposed by Richard Tracey was:

“This Assembly:

“Condemns ASLEF’s threat to strike and severely disrupt Underground services on the day of the Royal wedding (29 April). If a strike takes place it will harm the experience of visitors to London, the capital’s economy, and lives of Londoners.

“Considers the action by ASLEF to be provocative and unjustified since unions already have an agreement in place with London Underground to work on bank holidays, in return for additional holiday.

“Believes that ASLEF’s ultimatum demanding triple pay and a day off in lieu to be completely out of kilter with what workers are accepting in the private and public sector, where pay freezes are commonplace.

“Calls on ASLEF to withdraw its threat to strike on the day of the Royal wedding.”

The Conservative Group has called on the Government to introduce legislation requiring a majority of union members to vote for strike action before it can go ahead. This was a position that is supported by a majority of the public (54%) in a YouGov poll on Sunday.


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