London Assembly Members today put pressure on trade unions to withdraw the threat of industrial action on the Tube over pay.
Members agreed an amended motion that expresses disappointment with the Mayor’s failure to reach a ‘no-strike’ deal, and urges him to resolve any differences with the unions through direct negotiation, rather than through confrontation in the media.
Richard Tracey AM, who proposed the original motion, said:
"There is simply no justification for Tube strikes, particularly over pay. With the average Tube driver earning around £50,000 - more than double the average London wage – many people feel they have had it too good for too long. Changing technology and attitudes means the time for driverless trains is now at hand.”
Val Shawcross AM, who successfully amended the motion, said:
“We agree that strike action is bad for Londoners and bad for London as a whole. There are lots of reasons behind the industrial action that has taken place over the past four years, but at the heart of the problem is the Mayor’s abject failure to deal with the situation. We need a totally different approach that involves mutual respect and actually getting round a table to thrash things out.”
The full text of the amended motion agreed at today’s meeting reads as follows:
“This Assembly believes that, given the current pay level of London tube drivers, there can be no justification for any trades union-led strike action on pay over the next 4 year mayoral term.”
“This does however require mutual respect. This Assembly notes with regret the failure of the current Mayor to negotiate with the tube unions which has led to an increase in the number of strikes, between 2000-08 there were 16, since 2008 there have been 23. This Assembly notes the Mayor's failure to reach his "no-strike deal" with the tube unions and his failure to meet with them to discuss industrial relations. This Assembly urges the Mayor and unions to commit to face to face dialogue to resolve issues by direct negotiation, rather than through confrontation and media bluster.”
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