U.K. rail strike averted . . . for now

Stephen Beard Apr 2, 2010
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U.K. rail strike averted . . . for now

Stephen Beard Apr 2, 2010
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Bill Radke: A nationwide train strike in the U.K. has been averted. A court has banned the walkout, which would have caused havoc for commuters and Easter vacationers. From London, Marketplace’s Stephen Beard reports the railway work-stoppage would have been the first in 16 years.


Stephen Beard: The four-day strike by rail staff was due to begin next Tuesday. It would have stopped 80 percent of rail services for commuters and holiday makers.

The High Court, however, blocked the walk out due to voting irregularities during the strike ballot. Votes were counted from a number of work stations that don’t exist. In one case, votes were recorded from a building that burned down a year ago.

The union involved remains defiant. Outside the court, union leader Bob Crowe promised that after a fresh ballot, there would be a strike:

Bob Crowe: It’s just a temporary halt to the hostilities that are taking place. But one thing’s for sure: That we’re coming out fighting. Round one, 15 rounds of a fight, and round two will start very shortly.

But a rail strike now looks impossible before the election expected next month. The British government will be greatly relieved. The ruling labor party has close links with unions and has already been damaged by the strike at British Airways.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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