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London Underground

Volume 530: debated on Thursday 23 June 2011

17. Whether he plans to bring forward proposals to prevent unplanned industrial action on London Underground. (61523)

Existing legislation requires trade unions contemplating industrial action to ballot their membership and give due notice to the employer. The Government encourage both London Underground and the trade unions representing its employees to resolve disputes as quickly as possible through negotiation.

Given the huge disruption that strikes on the underground cause for my constituents and for London’s economy, is it not about time that there was a no-strike agreement on this vital public service, preferably negotiated with the union, but failing that through Government legislation?

Of course, I am well aware of the Mayor’s ambitions to get a no-strike agreement, which I think would be very positive if he could negotiate it with the unions. With regard to changing strike law, the Government are not rushing to any kind of confrontation with the unions, but Mr Crow and his colleagues at the RMT must recognise that the more irresponsibly they behave, holding London to ransom, the more they strengthen the argument of those who want a change in strike law.