This week saw thousands of London Underground workers striking to fight for more jobs on the tube to improve safety; following tube bosses reckless decision to cut nearly 900 jobs. Meanwhile London Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan was calling this fight "completely pointless," peddling dodgy statistics on how much of the service was running and praising scabs who failed to keep the service going.
Sadiq Khan claims he agrees the Tube needs more jobs. So where are they? He spent the strike day backing scabs when he should have been backing workers fighting for the very thing he says he agrees the Tube needs: more workers.
Khan paints himself as a man for all Londoners with the slogan "London is open" and his electoral pledge to be the most business friendly mayor London has ever had. But his actions demonstrate he is more interested in maintaining the status quo of a city with poor struggling workers and a few rich fatcats, and of stripping back services and cutting jobs; than any serious effort to improve the lives of working class people in our city.
As a Labour mayor, why doesn't he join the picket and demand more funding for the Tube from the Tories and a safer network? He’d rather proclaim there is no money and back the scabs instead. But of course there is money. It was the tories decision to cut the subsidies of the Tube to zero which means that workers have to pay more and more to get to work, rather than the boss (who profits) paying via taxes to get their workers there.
Shadow chancellor john McDonnell proclaimed last year that Labour’s policy was now to back all striking workers. But the Labour leadership largely remained silent whilst we were on the picket lines. Perhaps the left of the part doesn’t want to go head to head with Khan, but one of Khan’s first acts when he became Mayor was to distance himself from Corbyn and the party leadership, so why not act like properly socialists and call out the scabs?
There was support from the Shadow secretary for Education Angela Rayner who tweeted ‘As I face a 2 mile walk to work I'm reminded of why the #TubeStrike is happening #SafetyFirst’
When we have a Tory government cutting Tube funding and a Labour mayor attacking workers rather than the Tories, and Corbyn and McDonnell keeping schtum; who do we have to represent us? We have a real opportunity with our current Labour leadership, please don’t let us down now.