Boris Johnson should be proud today. This is the end of a long battle. He has been calling for tougher strike laws since 2009, and today, on his first day in Parliament, the Tories applied for legislation to do just that. Chuka Umunna on ITV News was dishonestly pretending that voting in an election is the same as voting for a strike. No way Chuka! Anyone affected by a General Election or a Mayoral election has a say in that election, through their vote. Strike votes affect millions financially, who have no say, so under 500 people can make millions suffer.
Boris has had powerful support for his call for a higher strike threshold for years. As early as 2011, the CBI backed his position. They were supported by Business First, who represent important businesses in London. This came after hard-working Londoners learnt that the RMT trade union wanted to inflict a series of strikes on the Tube, backed by just 29% of the members balloted, costing London millions.
Also in 2011, The Times backed Boris in a strongly worded leader that deplored the selfish action of the RMT, who called a strike supported by only 349 members.
The Times said: “The strike that aims to shut down the capital next week has been voted for by only 11 per cent of London Underground’s 3,429 drivers. In a ballot of 1,298 of Mr Crow’s members, there was only a 46 per cent turnout and just 379 people voted in favour of the action.”
Union bosses lose it as Boris lays it on the line! was my headline in what was a continuing knock down drag out punch up between Boris and the RMT. Once, the RMT was so incensed at Boris’s tough attitude, Bob Crow ran to David Cameron, complaining about him, they were nearly crying like snivelling little girls! Geez! Was big bad Boris making them cry?
The demands of the RMT in particular have been so exorbitant that even Red Ken called them “a protection racket”. In Boris’s first year as Mayor, 2008, no doubt hoping to break him, (fat chance!) the RMT called ten strikes! Wimpy Ed Miliband told Boris he should build “good relations” with the union. How do you build good relations with a protection racket, Ed?
Boris has called for a 50% turnout and a 40% strike threshold. Legislation has been applied for and it will eventually be enshrined in law. Well done Mayor of London! This has been a tough, lonely fight! You battled for years and you saw it through! Yes, Boris Johnson can be justly proud of himself and deserves our thanks tonight.