Government’s strikes bill unlikely to ward off next round of industrial action
Christopher Snowdon writes in The Mail
Christopher Snowdon quoted in The Express
“This Bill has been promised for three years but despite its general intention, it is still unclear how the obligation to provide a minimum service will be determined, how the conflicting needs of different groups of customers will be reconciled and how the plan will be proof against inevitable legal challenges.
“A further period of consultation will take months, if not years, and is likely to fall foul of a general election. This effort appears to be a box ticking exercise to show that at least one government commitment has been met.
“The Department for Transport has form with putting off decisions: it has still not spelt out what shape Great British Railways will take, again something which should have been decided at least two years ago. The main lines of the Williams-Shapps report had been laid out well before it was published.
“This dilatoriness is also found in the Department’s response to the continuing strikes. Even were this Bill magically to achieve its objective in time for the next round of strikes, the public would not be satisfied with a 20 per cent service, no doubt conducted by an uncooperative staff.
“No real attempt is being made to reach a definitive settlement and the government seems content to let industrial action drag on until Christmas. Meanwhile the prospect of achieving an efficient modern railway system worsens by the week, as revenues fall through the floor and more and more customers decide that they can live without trains.”
Notes to editors
Contact: [email protected] / 07763 365520
IEA spokespeople are available for interview and further comment.
Further IEA reading: Summertime Blues: Unions, strikes and the law in 2022