Strike curbs could follow rail action

THE Government yesterday indicated for the first time that it may introduce tougher union laws because of the signal workers' strike, writes Barrie Clement.

As travellers endured the 22nd day of disruption, Michael Portillo, the Secretary of State for Employment, said he might consider legislation when the strikes are over.

Following the 48-hour strike which ended at midnight last night, the RMT transport union has announced another day-long stoppage on 23 September and is expected to order further walkouts thereafter.

The safety of services on strike days will again be called into question today when Jimmy Knapp, RMT general secretary, meets the Health and Safety Executive's railway inspectorate.

An internal inquiry into a derailment at Bickley, Kent, during last Thursday's strike has concluded that the driver was to blame.