As always the loyal servant of his union, Jimmy Knapp campaigned vigorously in support of the executive's recommendation to strike. But when the majority in BR voted against a strike, far from being a humiliation, this actually justified the decision to hold a ballot, since the vote was held before a strike ballot became a legal requirement.
With regard to the present dispute, the Government will be unwise to rely on anti-union sentiment, when it is widely perceived that the fundamental issue, as with the teachers, is the impact on staff of the implementation of radical changes without pre-planning, selective testing and building up a sufficient constituency of support.
The public is actually very nervous about this, and senses that the Government, in pursuit of commercial disciplines, behaves in a way no self-respecting commercial enterprise would contemplate.
Hove, East Sussex
The writer was personnel director of London Underground (1984-92).Reuse content