Boris Johnson Hands Out a Political Punishment Beating for London

ASLEF, the train drivers' union, has condemned the government's attempt to punish the capital.

Mick Whelan, ASLEF's general secretary, said: 'This is a punitive, and politically motivated, move with the privatised train companies getting a bailout  from the government but not TfL, which is in the public sector.

'That is not just wrong, and ideologically-driven, but stupid. London is the only major city in Western Europe without a government grant for day-to-day transport operations.

'Passengers and fares have fallen by 90% during this pandemic but that is not the fault of Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor, nor is it the fault of staff.

Finn Brennan, ASLEF's organiser on London Underground, said: 'When, like other essential workers, TfL staff left their homes and families to keep the capital moving they were called heroes. Now the government wants to attack their working conditions and the pensions they have earned.

'Boris Johnson who, during his time as London Mayor, was responsible for gross waste and mismanagement at TfL, should understand that staff will not accept this. If he seeks confrontation, then he will find it.

'Following the disgraceful treatment of Manchester, the government is now attempting to hand out a political punishment beating of London. At least in Manchester a few Tory MPs are prepared to oppose their government's attack on their city. But the GLA Tories are cheering on this disgraceful attack on the people who keep London moving.'

Mick added: 'Pensions are deferred wages and Johnson's attempt to take away the money our members have earned is something we will not accept. As for driverless trains, that's a red herring. The Victorian infrastructure – and passengers on London's Tube trains – will not support them.'