Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Curbing the Power of Crow

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Curbing the Power of Crow

Article excerpt

BOB CROW of the RMT and Mick Rix of Aslef brought London to a standstill yesterday. From their own selfish and politically motivated point of view they organised the most "successful" Tube strike there has been in the series of Underground stoppages over the last year: not a single train ran for 24 hours from 8pm on Tuesday; union militants ensured that their intimidation of fellow workers meant few staff were prepared to defy the strike call, for fear of retribution; and pickets "persuaded" the few brave employees who tried to turn up for work to return home. As always it was ordinary Londoners who suffered the most - including the essential public sector workers such as teachers and nurses, with whom the Tube unions like to compare their members. Adding insult to injury was the insufferable insouciance of Mr Crow, who declared yesterday that he wanted Tube drivers' salaries, currently pound sterling31,000, to be doubled "or even trebled." This was either a sick joke - or if he was being serious, further proof that Mr Crow is living on a different planet from the rest of us.

The antediluvian Tube unions, who hark back to a pre-Thatcher era of industrial relations, cannot be allowed to continue holding the public to ransom. If London had a different Mayor, making the RMT and Aslef see sense would have been the responsibility of the leading elected official in City Hall. But Ken Livingstone, showing scandalous contempt for the public and a reluctance entirely to ditch his leftist past, is plainly on the side of the strikers. Londoners should not forget this fact at the next mayoral election.

Meanwhile, the Government must act to curb the power of the undemocratic, unaccountable RMT and Aslef, which want a return to the 1970s. The Conservatives repeated yesterday that they favour banning some public service workers from taking strike action. This is a draconian measure that would pick an unnecessary fight with most of the trade union movement. A more sensible reform would be to stop unions using unrepresentative ballots to call industrial action.

Only 3000 Aslef and RMT members out of a total of 18,000 Tube workers voted for yesterday's and next week's strikes - just over 15 per cent. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.