Tube strike showdown: Bob Crow vs Boris Johnson

RMT Union leader Bob Crow and London Mayor Boris Johnson had an angry debate live on LBC Radio today over the impending Tube strikes which are due to go ahead this evening.

After dealing with questions including the ban on homophobic bus ads, London buses going cashless, and the potential introduction of water cannons, the Mayor fielded questions from Crow who telephoned in.

Johnson accused Crow of “holding a gun to the head” of Londoners over the strikes and urged him to call off the strikes.

Crow and Johnson have not met for five years, and Crow said that he would like to sit down and meet with the Mayor a couple of times a year to discuss problems facing Tube workers.

Johnson said that he would be happy to do that if RMT called off the strike, adding that it is “a pointless strike that will do nothing but cost your members money”.

Crow responded saying that should Johnson retract a letter imposing the job cuts at ticket offices, then the strike could be suspended. However, Johnson said that it wasn’t in his power to do so and pointed out that most of the job cuts will be through voluntary redundancy.

But Crow says that TfL, who is conducting negotiations with the union, has said that it does not have the power to suspend the ticket office closure programme, “due to instructions from the very top”, indicating that the Mayor could have power over the decision.

Crow highlighted Johnson’s 2008 pledge to keep ticket offices open, to which Johnson said that the closures had to go ahead due to old-fashioned technology.

“We know where we are going to get to with this”, Johnson said. “In the end, ticket offices are old fashioned technology. Six years ago when I started talking about ticket offices, the iPhone was not even invented.”

Now read:

Tube strikes: how to get around London

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Readers' comments (1)

  • It is amazing how these two jokers are dictating the terms. Stalemate and let the public suffer.....Is this how BJ serves the Londoners?
    get your heads together , you thugs. It's costing us a fortune.........

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