Conservative Members of the London Assembly have called for Tube strikes to be banned and replaced with compulsory independent meditation.
The group has previously called for strikes to be permitted only when backed by 50% plus one of the entire eligible union membership.
A new report published today by Conservative Assembly Member Richard Tracey modifies that position, calling for strikes to be banned and requiring 50% plus one of eligible members to vote for arbitration in the event of a dispute.
The report draws on a poll of 285 Londoners in which 48% of respondents favour some form of of curb on strike action.
However only 16% named an “complete ban” as their preferred option while 14% said “the current system works just fine”.
32% of poll participants backed the Conservative group’s earlier calls for a 50% plus one rule on strikes while a total of 31% backed two forms of a ban coupled with a binding independent meditation.
During the 2008 Mayoral election Mayor Boris Johnson promised to implement a no-strike deal with unions. However the unions snubbed a voluntary deal and UK coalition ministers have declined to bring in reforms through legislation.
Suggesting only a future majority Conservative government would implement such a measure, the report calls on the Mayor and Transport for London to take action to lessen the impact of strikes on Londoners.
Publishing the report, Mr Tracey said: “Our research shows six in ten Londoners feel it is too easy for Underground staff to go on strike. Almost half would favour a ban on industrial action. Banning strikes tied to a wider package of compulsory arbitration will protect commuters and the UK’s economy.
“It will also ensure Tube drivers and staff do get a fair hearing from London Underground management when seeking to secure wage and benefit improvements. And there is no reason why we cannot curb strikes and implement compulsory settlements on other forms of transport in London and across the UK.”
Responding to the report, RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “One of the first things fascist dictators like Hitler, Mussolini and Pinochet did when they seized power was to ban transport workers from taking strike action so the Tory group on the London Assembly find themselves in some high profile company on this one.
“This crowd have obviously over-dosed on their post-Thatcher adulation and are looking to ramp-up the anti-union rhetoric in advance of the publicly financed funeral on Wednesday. Of course, banning the fundamental human right to withdraw your labour, a right that distinguishes a free workforce from forced labour, is all the rage on the far right and anyone stupid enough to try and embark on such a policy is doomed to failure as Boris Johnson found out.”