Question on the recent tram strike
29/09/2017 18:32:00......Posted by Mario Creatura
I have just sent in a question to Cllr Stuart King, Labour Cabinet Member of Transport and the Environment, asking him:
'Tram drivers in Croydon recently voted overwhelmingly for strike action over what the ASLEF union calls a "failure to consult" over a new safety device which would help detect when drivers are fatigued or distracted.
In total, 94.7% of ASLEF members working on the tram network who voted said they were prepared to take part in strike action, with the remaining 5.3% voting no. The turnout in the ballot was 61.5%.
Chris Philp, Conservative MP for Croydon South, has publicly condemned the strikes calling them 'selfish'. To date, the other two Labour MPs for Croydon (Sarah Jones and Steve Reed) have made no comment on the strike. Neither has the Council Leader, you as Cabinet Member or the administration as a collective.
The Croydon Advertiser have reported that Marilyn Logan, whose husband Philip was tragically killed in last year's terrible crash, said she was "absolutely disgusted" and that the vote to strike was a “kick to the stomach”.
- Could the Cabinet Member please outline whether he and Croydon's Labour administration support or oppose this strike?
- Is the Cabinet Member willing to use the influence he has with his Labour Members of Parliament to encourage them to issue public statements on whether they support or oppose this strike?
- Whatever his views, what message does the Cabinet Member feel this strike vote sends to those linked to this tragedy?'
Cllr King replied:
I am disappointed at the prospect of possible industrial action, and can entirely understand and sympathise with how Marilyn Logan feels about that possibility.
However, I note that Aslef is reported as having “no current plans” to implement the vote on industrial action, and as such there is currently no strike to support or oppose in the terms the councillor requests.
I note that Councillor Creatura’s senior colleague Councillor Steve O’Connell has stated that “their [Aslef] members feel strongly about it and that’s to be respected”. He goes on to say “I would have thought the union and TFL could perhaps have a conversation to avoid anything”. I tend to agree with that: the best scenario for all concerned is that both sides are engaged in dialogue and negotiation.