Unions hit back against minimum service levels measures
Unions have hit back against the government’s decision to press ahead with ensuring minimum service levels during transport strikes.
Train drivers’ union Aslef said the measure is doomed to fail as it would only increase chaos at stations.
“What happens when 100 per cent of passengers try to get on 40 per cent minimum service level trains? It will look like Japan where they cram people in like cattle!” said general secretary Mick Whelan.
“The lack of full establishments – most of the companies don’t have enough drivers to run the services they promise passengers they will provide – will be another problem.”
While Mick Lynch, general secretary of transport union RMT, added: “RMT and other unions will not sit idly by or meekly accept any further obstacles on their members exercising the basic human right to withdraw their labour.”
The law – which will be introduced following Prime Minister’s Liz Truss pledge to have such a bill within 30 days of Parliament sitting – comes as a result of strike action plaguing the country’s network over the last few months.
The government – which has yet to make a formal announcement – said similar laws are in place in different western European countries, including Spain and France.
The measure is set to be implemented from next year.
“As we have seen only too often in recent months, it is wrong that strikes are preventing hard-working people and families up and down the country from getting to work, doctors’ appointments and school,” a government source told the PA news agency.
“That is why we are introducing this legislation, to keep Britain moving, ensure people can get to work, earn their own living and grow the economy.”
A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group told City A.M.: “Legislation is a matter for the government, we will work within the framework that exists.
“We would never do anything to put passenger safety at risk, we have tried and tested contingency plans in place to keep services running.”