Sadiq Khan branded ‘anti-worker’ for his attack on striking rail workers

Sadiq Khan's experience of xenophobic attitudes
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London’s Night Tube service will not resume on the evening of 27 November because of industrial action. The situation has sparked debate – especially around Sadiq Khan’s criticism of striking workers.

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Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out at 8.30pm on the Victoria and Central lines in a dispute over drivers’ rosters. Tube services were disrupted on 26 November after drivers launched a 24-hour strike, which led to criticism from Khan. The strike will be followed by more weekend stoppages in the run up to Christmas.

The 27 November strike will last for eight hours, altering plans to restart the Night Tube this weekend. It was due to resume after being suspended last year because of the pandemic.

On 26 November, Khan said:

But his intervention drew criticism:

Khan was also criticised by Conservatives who noted he once said “strikes are ultimately a sign of failure”:

Union response

RMT says Transport for London (TfL) has “ripped up “ an agreement on Night Tube driving by changing rosters. Meanwhile TfL says no jobs are being lost and the changes mean drivers would work around four Night Tube weekends a year.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said:

The widespread impact on services is solely down to management failure to recognise and address the anger of their staff at the imposition of damaging and unacceptable working practices.

This action was wholly avoidable if LU (London Underground) bosses hadn’t attempted to bulldoze through arrangements that abolished the Night Tube driver grade, lumping everyone into a central pool where they can be shunted about at will in a drive to cut costs.

Our members have spoken and it’s time for London Underground to start listening.

The Mayor and his officials need to recognise our determination to defend progressive and family-friendly working practices. We remain available for talks.

Andy Lord, London Underground’s managing director, said:

I am very sorry for the inconvenience that this strike action is causing. We understand that our customers will be frustrated by the RMT’s strike action, which is timed to cause maximum disruption to London…

We are expecting to operate a reduced service overnight tonight on the Central and Victoria lines and on 3-5 December, 10-12 December and 17-18 December. Customers are advised to check before they travel and use buses to complete their journeys where required.

Nick Dent, director of London Underground customer operations said:

At such a pivotal time for the capital’s recovery, we are hugely disappointed that the RMT is threatening London with this unnecessary action.

By making changes to Tube driver rosters we have provided greater flexibility for drivers as well as permanent work and job security, something welcomed by all other unions

Meanwhile, Tribune editor Ronan Burtenshaw drew attention to what could potentially be another scandal of dishonesty in politics:

Khan has previously spoken out about ‘lies’ told by former London mayor Boris Johnson:

Featured image via YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. Yes, trade unions created the Labour Party and what a mistake it was. Proudhon lectured the 19th century French workers consistently: if you win political power without first winning economic power, the capitalists will us their economic power to destroy your governments. Was he right? Khan is a political conformist: power must remain with an elite; we will decide; you get to work, watch the telly, read the papers and do as we tell you. That’s the distortion of democracy they offer. And here’s something to think about: why is politics dominated by two major parties? Why aren’t there seventeen parties? Why isn’t there lots of political nuance? The answer is that the form of parliament, adversarialism between two contending factions, determines the form of the political parties which in turn determines how people vote. As Orwell wrote: “The is the twilight of Parliamentary democracy and these creatures are simply ghosts gibbering in some corner while the real events happen elsewhere.” 40 million voters and 650 MPs? The system is absurd.

      1. Great point about 2 party systems and Proudhon statement is correct: economic power and political power are both needed. However, taking the example of Murica, I would say Orwell was naive. These creatures create the reality, the spin the stories the press tells, they nudge society, they appoint judges, they appoint government functionaries, they approve central bankers. They ARE “reality”. Even so, they do a terrible job.

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