Revealed: Boris ‘responsible for scuppering strike deal’
By politics.co.uk staff
The mayor of London ordered London Underground to scupper an 11th hour deal to avert today’s tube strike, union sources have claimed.
The capital has been thrown into chaos today after the 48-hour strike went ahead at 19:00 BST last night, following failed talks yesterday between the RMT union, London Underground and conciliation service Acas.
But sources today insisted a deal was on the table, last night, until London Underground officials were contacted by City Hall.
A text message obtained by politics.co.uk‘s sister site, inthenews.co.uk, and sent to all RMT members by union representative Steven Hedley claims that shortly before the typed agreement to call off the strike was to be signed, the call from City Hall came in calling for management not to sign the package.
RMT regional organiser Mr Hedley said an agreement was in place that had been signed by the union’s general secretary Bob Crow.
“We agreed it, management agreed it, but then they said they needed to make a phone call to their lawyers, and we’ve never heard of lawyers getting involved in this before,” he told inthenews.co.uk.
“We believe that call was to City Hall, they had been on the phone to Boris Johnson all day.
“Managers were prepared to sign off on it but they’ve been overruled.”
He continued: “Bob Crow had actually signed the piece of paper, but they [management] came back five minutes later saying they couldn’t.
“We were all flabbergasted; we’d spent seven hours in there today and ten hours in there yesterday.
“We believe this is a political decision.”
Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor’s director of transport policy, called the union claims “duplicitous”.
“The RMT leadership is being duplicitous when they say that there was an agreement on the table,” he said.
“In fact, only a version that the RMT were proposing existed. LU made the very reasonable request that the RMT suspend strike action so that this could be worked through. However, the RMT leadership refused to continue or give the talks more time, and walked out.”
One of Mr Johnson’s campaign promises during his bid to become mayor was to formalise a no-strike policy with the unions.