London

Tube strike threat on royal wedding day

  • 10 January 2011
  • From the section London

London Underground drivers could strike on the day of the royal wedding in a row over bank holiday pay, union officials have warned.

Aslef said there was a "remote chance" of its members walking out on 29 April, when Prince William and Kate Middleton are due to wed at Westminster Abbey.

Drivers went on strike on Boxing Day in the dispute which remains unresolved.

London Underground (LU) has accused the union of tearing up long-standing agreements on pay and annual leave.

Aslef has demanded triple pay and a day off in lieu for working on bank holidays.

LU took legal action to halt the Boxing Day walkout but it failed and the strike went ahead, causing disruption on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Its managing director Mike Brown said: "Tube drivers already have very fair levels of pay and get around seven weeks holiday a year, including allowance for bank holidays."

He said Londoners would "simply be stunned at" the demands being made by Aslef.

'Frankly amazed'

"The only way to resolve this issue is by getting round the table for constructive talks. I urge the Aslef leadership to end pointless strike threats and work with us to resolve this without any disruption to London," he said.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "I'm frankly amazed that Aslef's bosses are seriously proposing to go on on strike on April 29 when the people of this city and this country will be celebrating the very happy day of the royal wedding.

"I'm sure that the overwhelming majority of sensible Tube drivers will treat this suggestion in exactly the same way that London's firefighters treated the suggestion that they should go on strike on Bonfire Night."

He said he hoped the Tube drivers would urge their union rep to rethink the proposal.

Suggestions of a Tube strike on the day of the royal wedding have been condemned as "cynical" by Downing Street.

David Cameron's spokesman said: "Any such plans will be seen as a cynical attempt to undermine a day of national celebration."

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