McCluskey threatens London Olympics
Filed under: News
"If the Olympics provide us with an opportunity, then that's exactly one that we should be looking at," he told the Guardian newspaper. How real is the threat?
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"The attacks," McCluskey said, "that are being launched on public sector workers at the moment are so deep and ideological that the idea the world should arrive in London and have these wonderful Olympic Games as though everything is nice and rosy in the garden is unthinkable."
Other unions are also looking for an Olympics bruising: the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) is unhappy about pay for staff during the Games, as well as the right to take holidays during the period the Games are on (27 July to 12 August).
"RMT has told TFL," the union said in a press release, "that it is appalled that the employer intends to severely restrict annual leave over the Olympic period, including banning annual leave during the Games altogether in at least one department. The union says that the plan will make life impossible for many staff, for example those with school-age children.
"Inconceivable"Tube workers will shortly hold a RMT strike ballot following the rejection of a £500 bonus for working through the duration of the Games. Their members make up around 10,000 of the London Tube's overall 18,000 staff. Needless to say, the knock-on effects of strike action during this period would be profound.
AOL Money contacted the Labour Party for a response. "Len McCluskey is absolutely wrong to even float the notion that there should be any trade union disruptions or anything that would disrupt the Olympics," said Harriet Harman in a press release.
"The Olympics are going to be a fantastically important thing for London and the whole country. It is inconceivable that trade union members would want to disrupt something that they've been very much a part of."
A forthcoming four-year pay deal should see the average Tube driver's salary - based on a 35-hour week including eight weeks holiday - rising to £50,000.