The Labour Leader of Croydon Council, Tony Newman, has refused to condemn today's Southern rail strikes, with his comments condemned by local Conservatives as “cowardly”.
Today, and for much of the rest of the week, the ASLEF and RMT transport unions are operating a complete strike across the Southern network, a network used by thousands of Croydon residents. No Southern trains will run on this day, impacting some 500,000 rail users.
When Cllr Richard Chatterjee, Conservative member for Shirley, asked Cllr Newman: 'Does The Leader condemn the industrial action (which included strikes and overtime bans) undertaken by unions such as ASLEF and the RMT on days such as Monday 13th December and Tuesday 14th December 2016, noting the impact on Croydon people and businesses?'
Sadly, Cllr Newman continued his practice of being closed and secretive, refusing to answer the simple question. You can view the question on the Council's website.
Cllr Tim Pollard, Leader of Croydon's Conservative Councillors, said: "Cllr Newman needs to listen to the suffering people and businesses of Croydon and put their interests and needs before his craven kowtowing to bullies and militants. Unions can be a force for good, but every grievance behind this strike has been comprehensively debunked. It's nothing more than political posturing and it's heaping misery upon misery for our residents.
"I call on Cllr Newman to use his close ties to both RMT and ASLEF to call off these strikes that are so disruptive to the lives of so many."
For the latest news on strike action, please visit the Southern website.