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Boris renews plea for restrictions on tube strikes

During this month's Mayor of London's Question Time, Labour suggested that the Mayor was failing to put the interests of commuters first.

But it was gently pointed out to them that strike action was not advantageous to the interests of commuters:

Richard Tracey (AM):  Mr Mayor, let us get to the nub of this.  After nine strikes on the Tube in the last six months of last year, putting commuters first, would that not be better interpreted by making this sort of irresponsible strike action illegal, by raising the threshold, the ability to go on strike by these unions, to over 50% of the members?  They would have to vote for it.  Over half of Londoners in a YouGov poll have supported this policy and it has been put to the Assembly by my colleagues on this side and opposed by the people over there.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Who is it?  Are they in favour of strikes, your colleagues on the Assembly?

Richard Tracey (AM):  They would seem to be.

Boris Johnson (Mayor of London):  Do you ever see them on picket lines?

Boris Johnson (Mayor):  Is that right?  Do they take money from the unions that are going on strike?  Do they? Do they actually have their headquarters in --

Richard Tracey (AM):  It has been known, it has been known.

Boris Johnson (Mayor):  Is that right?  What I want to say is there is a case for indispensable public transport systems that are of vital importance to a city like London, to have arrangements that protect the commuter, protect the travelling public from irresponsible strike actions; a point I have made repeatedly to Government.  They are not minded to go down that path at the moment.  They have the legislative tools.  I think we have a good deal at the moment with London Underground (LU) and with the LU staff and I am very confident that we will go through and I know that people who run the Tube, who I think do a fantastic job in tough circumstances dealing with very, very antiquated machinery and equipment, will want to deliver a fantastic Olympics for London and the world next year and that is what we are going to do.

It really is long overdue for the Government to respond on this.


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