For many Londoners, the commute into work yesterday was one sent from hell. Most Underground services were brought to a complete standstill thanks to a 24-hour tube strike by the RMT and TSSA unions. That morning at the Conservative Party Conference, London Mayor Boris Johnson called for legislation demanding a 50% threshold for the calling of industrial strikes by Transport for London workers.
If this legislation were to be established, it would be a godsend to many London commuters. Standing on a cold platform, listening to somebody shouting into their mobile beside you, while waiting for your extremely delayed train into the city is nobody’s idea of fun, and the strikes have brought many parts of the city to a standstill. However, Boris is not making things easy for himself by bluntly describing the tube strike as ‘a load of cobblers’ – whatever his feelings about the strike, this not probably the best way to go about winning strike sympathisers over to his side. Still, many Londoners feel the same way.
Boris’s proposal is fair and reasonable to both London commuters and London Underground employees. London can’t be threatened by Tube strikes every other week just because a handful of employees throw their toys out of the pram over wages. Instead of disrupting everyone’s travel, these things must be discussed properly as adults. Strikes may have been effective in the past, but times have changed and this one hasn’t done anybody any favours, including the tube workers. They have lost themselves a day’s pay, achieved little politically, and have left their fellow Londoners in an extremely bad mood.