A livid union boss has hit again at “weird” claims they’re concentrating on the Eurovision Tune Contest with strike motion.
Mick Whelan, common secretary of the prepare drivers’ union Aslef, described accusations by transport secretary Mark Harper as “ridiculous”.
Harper claimed throughout an interview that rail unions referred to as strikes “particularly concentrating on” Eurovision going down in Liverpool on Could 13.
Aslef members will stroll out on Could 12 as a part of a long-running dispute over pay, in addition to on Could 31 and June 3, the day of the FA Cup remaining.
Members of the RMT transport union are additionally because of strike on Could 13 after they rejected the most recent pay deal from prepare operators.
“I take my hat off to Mr Harper,” Whelan fumed. “Due to all of the accusations I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard an excellent few in my time, this actually is essentially the most ridiculous.
“He claims we’re not standing in solidarity with Ukraine when he is aware of – or ought to know – that we now have stood in solidarity with the individuals of that nation for much longer than he has.
“We had been visiting staff in that nation when Mr Harper and his friends within the Tory Celebration had been nonetheless pocketing a whole lot of hundreds of kilos from Russian oligarchs near Vladimir Putin.
“I’ve been to Ukraine – I used to be there because the Russian tanks invaded – and Aslef’s assistant common secretary, Simon Weller, has been there to speak to rail staff when the Russian bombs had been falling. Mr Harper hasn’t – and we’re members of the Ukraine Solidarity Marketing campaign. Mr Harper isn’t.
“So I’m not going to take any classes in solidarity from a Tory Cupboard minister who doesn’t perceive what he’s speaking about.”
Harper claimed unions are “cynically concentrating on” the track contest and recommended they need to stand in solidarity with Ukrainians as a substitute.
“I believe it’s very damaging that the rail unions are calling strikes particularly concentrating on the Eurovision Tune Contest,” he advised Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme.
“I’ve met with the pinnacle of Ukrainian Railways and Ukrainian Railways have been particularly focused by Vladimir Putin, rail staff have been killed of their a whole lot and I’d have thought frankly rail staff would have wished to face in solidarity with them slightly than concentrating on the Eurovision Tune Contest which, should you keep in mind, shouldn’t be our track contest.
“We’re internet hosting it however we’re internet hosting it for Ukraine and I believe cynically concentrating on occasions that hard-working, working women and men throughout the nation are spending their cash on to try to attend and concentrating on these I believe could be very cynical.”