Boris Johnson has been accused of sounding like a “tin pot dictator” and of cynically using the tube strike to raise the spectre of further attacks on the right to take industrial action in the UK.
Unite the union warned that Johnson’s comments reveal the dark agenda of a future Conservative government, which is to further restrict workers in what is already the most tightly regulated industrial environment in Europe. The union warned that his bid for more repressive laws comes only days after the Lobbying Act, which restricts freedom of speech by trades unions and charities.
Condemning the Mayor’s push for more punitive law, Unite assistant general secretary, Gail Cartmail said: “Boris Johnson is cynically trying to make hay while tube workers take strike action to defend operations and safety on the tube. Instead of hitting the airwaves to condemn trade union rights, the Mayor of London ought to be straining every sinew to resolve this dispute.
“As polls show, the public back this action. People understand that when unions act to save services they act in the public interest.
“By threatening to ban industrial action, Boris Johnson sounds like a tin pot dictator and displays stunning hypocrisy. He calls for a 50 per cent legal minimum in the turnout for a strike ballot when he was elected on a turnout of just 38 per cent.
“It is easy to believe that if Johnson, Cameron and co had their way they would reduce Britain’s working people to a nation of serfs scuttling to serve the Tories’ super-rich mates.”
The London Mayor was re-elected on a turnout of 38 per cent with only 17 per cent of Londoners bothering to vote for him. Boris Johnson displayed “stunning hypocrisy” by calling for a threshold of a 50 per cent turn-out in strike ballots.
For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo from Unite on 07768 931 315
Twitter: @unitetheunion, Facebook: unitetheunion1
Notes to editors:
• Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.