Tories blast Sadiq Khan for breaking ‘zero strike’ pledge

Today’s Tube strike will be the 95th public transport strike in the capital since Sadiq Khan was elected in 2016.

Sadiq Khan has been blasted for failing to deliver on his “zero strike” pledge by the City Hall Conservative group, as the number of walkouts in his time as mayor hits almost 100 this week.

Nick Rogers, the GLA Conservatives transport spokesperson, said that the latest strike leaves Sadiq Khan’s “zero strike” pledge “in pieces”.

Sadiq Khan at new station in Woolwich

He said: “Londoners are once again facing major disruption because Sadiq Khan is focused on political posturing and not on getting a grip of TfL.

“The mayor should face down the militant unions, secure a long-term funding settlement for TfL, and end these strikes.”

Last week, economists estimated there will be a £120m hit to the London economy as a result of this week’s strikes alone.

The mayor previously claimed to LondonWorld he did not promise “zero strikes” under his mayoralty and says he instead stated that “all strikes are bad”.

A spokesperson for the mayor said: “Sadiq is extremely disappointed about the strikes going ahead on London Underground this week.

“The strikes taking place across the country, as well as here in London, will cause disruption at a crucial time when we’re working to rebuild the country’s economy.

“Under this government, we are seeing more and more strikes taking place across the country, and it’s no secret that the conditions placed on TfL as part of previous emergency funding deals with the government following the impacts of the pandemic have been a primary motivator for strikes by London’s transport workers.

“Before the pandemic hit, Sadiq had reduced overall strike action on TfL services by over 70% compared to the previous mayor’s record.

“The mayor continues to urge the unions to work with TfL and to join him in calling on the government to provide the sustainable funding needed to protect the capital’s transport network – not just for the benefit of London, but the whole country.”

The RMT has said they have been cut out of negotiations between TfL, mayor Sadiq Khan and the government.

The union has accused TfL of refusing to share details of the “draft government proposal they received regarding funding of the transport system in the capital, in secret and without any discussion with their recognised trade unions”.

It added the London Underground and TfL management have “consistently refused to engage in discussions around safeguarding jobs, pensions and conditions on the spurious grounds that they are unable to give any assurances to our members until they have a financial settlement with the government”.

Eddie Dempsey (left) and Mick Lynch (right) from the RMT union

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “This strike action by our members on LU and the Overground is yet another demonstration of how transport workers refuse to accept a raw deal.

“TfL have had ample opportunity to be transparent about the funding they will receive and to give tube workers the assurances they need.

“Yet they have totally failed to give those guarantees.

“And Arriva Rail London, a company swimming in money, refuses to give our members a pay rise that will deal with the escalating cost of living crisis.

“There will be significant disruption on the 19th August but TfL and Arriva Rail London bear responsibility for this breakdown in industrial relations.”

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