Last month, I considered the potential effect on the upcoming General Election of two very different strike actions. That at British Airways (BA) continues, but yesterday, the threatened strike of Network Rail (NR) signallers came to a halt when NR obtained a court injunction against it.
And it is the signallers’ strike, as I argued previously, that could have been deeply damaging to Pa Broon and his clan as the Election loomed. So when union chief Bob “Scare” Crow emerged from court yesterday afternoon vowing a re-ballot of his members – and hopefully including all working signalling locations – there will have been more than relief at Labour HQ.
For starters, Crow is not backing Labour this time round, so putting one over on him will be all the more sweet for the loyal and disciplined, like Big Al and Baron Mandelson of Indeterminate Guacamole. More, the potential for losing the votes of disgruntled commuters, who often have very little choice but to travel by rail if they want to get in and out of city centres within a reasonable timeframe, has been seen off.
And, best of all, that re-ballot cannot be achieved in time to call any further action until after the General Election, if it is to be, as widely expected, in early May. But into this world a little rain must fall, and any rejoicing has to be tempered by the ruckus over National Insurance increases and an overnight opinion poll setback.
It’s not another Winter of Discontent, though.