So, the dreaded news has been confirmed. London is facing another 24 hour tube strike.
Not what you want to read, I know. Despite the hard work of London Underground officials to try and arrange a reasonable compromise, union bosses have pushed forward with their aggressive- ideological agenda of calling off operations. 2,000 tube drivers won’t bother showing up to work, which will mean chaos for a majority of hard working Londoners.
That’s Londoners from all walks of life. The Londoners that are struggling to get by and depend on the underground to earn a living to support their family. These are the people that could only ever dream of being offered an additional 2% pay increase on top of a £2,000 bonus (which was offered to the proposed strikers and rejected) for working hours that might not be the most convenient.
Taking a taxi, turning up late or having to miss work, are simply alternatives that a huge number of people can’t even begin to consider. Does that bother those unions that claim to ‘fight for every worker’? No way. If your misery doesn’t fit into their agenda and you don’t pay Union membership fees, you’re irrelevant.
So what’s the fuss about? Are thousands of tube drivers losing their jobs or being forced to work in abysmal conditions? Nope. They’ve been asked to work late night shifts to help bring the underground network into the 21st century. To confirm- that’s night shifts, not extra hours to their standard shift.
The beauty of the nightly service proposal is that it will bring those keeping our capital city running throughout the night massive benefits. That’s street cleaners, bar workers, waiters & waitresses; fast-food assistants and security guards- the hard working people that deserve to spend less of their wages on taxis, parking and petrol to avoid overcrowded night buses.
It is at times like this where we are reminded of the wider need to get on top of strike regulation, as discussed during the general election campaign. Patrick McLoughlin, our Secretary of State for Transport, is right to argue that it’s wrong for politicised union leaders to hold our nation to ransom with such a small percentage of members voting for strike action. With this in mind, it is only right that larger majorities of union members (40%) can validate strike action, as opposed to the mere 16% of members who voted for strike action on London buses back in January.
The arguments in favour of the 24 hour proposal are solid. London Underground must push ahead with these much needed reforms and never give in to the bully tactics of unions like RMT and Unite. We as Londoners can stand up to these strikes by doing what we do best: staying calm and working hard.
Mo Metcalf-Fisher is Contributing Editor at Conservative Way Forward.
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