Sir Robert Neill claimed the planned tube strike was a deliberate attempt to disrupt the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee proceedings by heavily compromising transport options. The Tory MP raged at the threats made by the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers to cause travel chaos over the bank holiday weekend. Sir Robert also heavily condemned the failure of London Mayor Sadiq Khan to act swiftly and organise a resolution to the tube dispute. The MP said: “It’s cheap and it’s cynical and it’s thoroughly nasty.”
Sir Robert continued: “It’s basically putting two fingers up to the Queen and two fingers up to the ordinary hard-working public who want to enjoy the day and celebrate an amazing lifetime of public service and certainly celebrate a public holiday.
“It’s really appalling.”
The RMT has threatened to organise a staff walkout at Green Park and Euston stations on Friday 3rd June.
If the action goes ahead, the strike would disrupt the Northern, Victoria, Piccadilly and Jubilee lines.
Sir Robert explained the RMT has justified the strike as urgent action in response to ‘bullying’ by the management of the tube stations.
He said: “There seems to be some suggestion of bullying, as I understand it, and other workplace practices
“It’s not a pay dispute, not surprising as the average tube driver gets about £56,000 a year, most of them more with overtime – it’s not about money, it’s about some discontent at a workplace.
“If they’ve got that, they should negotiate first and why choose those days and those stations if it’s that important?
“The timing and where they’re doing it makes it clear this is actually a political stunt by a very hard left-wing trade union.”
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Sir Robert suggested the London Mayor has so far purposefully avoided addressing the threats of the trade union in order to maintain their support of the Labour party.
He said: “He is, after all, the chair of TFL – has he been sitting down with the unions and the management to sort these things out?”
He added: “The Mayor seems to be washing his hands of it, turning a blind eye to that, of course, because he depends upon the trade unions for his support in the Labour party.”
RMT’s Mr Lynch asserted: “If tube bosses do the right thing, and deal appropriately with the manager in question, we can find a just resolution to this dispute.”