24 May 2022, 08:46
Do not disrespect the Queen on her Platinum Jubilee by striking at stations crucial to the celebrations, a railway union has warned.
The RMT union wants staff out of Euston and Green Park tube stations on June 3, the second day of the four-day long weekend.
He wants Transport for London [TfL] to take action against a manager who has been accused of bullying.
Both stations are important for visitors to London who want to join in the celebrations.
But speaking on LBC’s Nick Ferrari at breakfast, London Transport Commissioner Andy Byford said disruptive action would be disrespectful to the Queen as she celebrates 70 years on the throne, while Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, said the union would make itself unpopular. in London.
Mr Byford said: “We hope to avoid this [action]. For the time being, the RMT has stated that it intends to intervene in these two stations.
“Our intention is to keep these two stations open.
“It’s about one manager. There’s absolutely no need for anyone to disrupt the Queen’s Jubilee.
“The Queen has been on the throne for 70 years, people come to London especially – let’s not disrespect the Queen with an argument.
“So somehow we will keep these stations open safely, hopefully by talking to our colleagues at RMT we can avoid this.
“Nobody wants that – let’s keep talking.”
Mr Shapps said: “A word to the unions – if you’re trying to make yourself unpopular… I would have thought to do something above Her Majesty [Platinum] Jubilee, we are the only people in history who will have been alive when a monarch celebrated 70 years on the throne, I can’t think of anything less popular they could conjure up.
“To do this, when frankly people just want to spend a weekend celebrating Her Majesty’s extraordinary achievement of 70 years, it’s just asking them to be the least supportive people in London if they’re going to do this. . Have common sense, that’s what I would say.”
RMT members are also set to strike on June 6, the day after the long weekend, when Londoners return to work.
It seems likely that this will force stations in Zone 1, central London, to close.
The dispute sparked outrage, including from London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who said he opposed the strike.
Mr Byford told Nick: “We want to resolve this dispute.
“We have solemnly assured our RMT colleagues that where we need to save money, and we need to save money with the impact of the pandemic, those savings can and will be achieved through attrition.
“In other words, where we need to reduce the number of station jobs that won’t be done by laying people off, it will be by not filling jobs as they become vacant.”
His comments followed the opening of the Elizabeth line, which began operating on Tuesday morning.
The repeatedly delayed Crossrail project will allow smoother journeys from west to east through the capital.