Truss vows to crack down on ‘extremist’ unions as subway strike disrupts London transport

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, frontrunner to become prime minister, said Friday’s strike had crippled London’s public transport network, so “belligerent trade unionists” could not be allowed to interfere with vital public services. said no.

Most subway lines were shut down after members of the National Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers’ Union (RMT) seceded over issues such as employment and pensions.

“As prime minister, I will not allow my country to be held for ransom by extremist trade unionists,” Truss said on Twitter.

Earlier, she told the Daily Express:

Her planned measures include introducing minimum service levels to critical national infrastructure to maintain rail, bus and other services. She also plans to raise the voting threshold to make it more difficult for strikes to be carried out in all sectors.

travel misery

The subway strike has disrupted travel across the capital and has also caused severe traffic congestion as people use road transport to complete their journeys.

A strike on Friday and Saturday by drivers who are members of the Unite union has also disrupted bus services in West and South West London and parts of Surrey.

A chain reaction of Thursday’s RMT strike prompted network rail and rail operators across the country to start train services on the mainline later than usual on Friday. Only 70% of the services are running on Friday as a whole.

A further strike on Saturday will reduce the train service level to 20%.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said he was “extremely sorry” for the inconveniences people were being caused by the strike, but claimed that London Underground workers’ pensions were at risk. defended the action.

Sadik Khan
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speaks after being re-elected mayor of London at City Hall in London on May 8, 2021. (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the 24-hour subway strike was “incredibly frustrating” but blamed the government, not the unions, for the unrest.

Khan, a Labor politician, accused Transport Secretary Grant Shaps of “deliberately provoking a strike”.

He told PA News Agency: go on strike. “

Mr Khan said he and the striking RMT union were “on the same side here”.

“No one wants the government to put unfair terms on our deals,” he added.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan