No appeal over Tube strike ruling

 

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The Independent Online

London Underground (LU) bosses said today that they will not appeal against a ruling by a High Court judge who concluded that a planned Boxing Day strike by Tube drivers embroiled in a pay row was lawful and could go ahead.

Mr Justice Eder said yesterday that he "regretted" that his ruling would cause disruption for travellers. But he said his decision to reject LU's application for an injunction to halt the strike was legally "inevitable".

An LU spokeswoman said today that bosses had decided not to try to overturn the ruling in the Court of Appeal, saying: "We will not be appealing."

LU bosses had asked the judge to stop industrial action, during a High Court hearing in London, which began on Wednesday.

They said the Aslef union called the strike in breach of trade union legislation by balloting members not rostered to work on Boxing Day.

Aslef, which wants extra Boxing Day pay for drivers, said the ballot was lawful and the strike should not be stopped.

The judge ruled in Aslef's favour and later outlined his reasons in a written judgment.

"I accept the general notion that a strike should have a democratic mandate," he said.

"(But) it does not seem to me necessarily to follow that the persons who should be balloted must be limited to those who will be on strike, i.e. actually withdrawing their labour in breach of contract on a particular day."

He added: "I do not consider that the fact that the ballot included persons who would not themselves go on strike renders the ballot held in breach of (legislation)."

The judge went on: "I refused the injunction sought by (LU). I recognise that this conclusion will cause disruption to the public who would want to use London Underground on Boxing Day. That is regrettable.

"But the decision which I have reached is, in my view, inevitable given the statutory framework laid down by Parliament."

PA

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