If Queen Victoria were still alive — and what a modern medical miracle it would be! — she would surely have this to say about the prospect of a strike on the London Underground on the day of the royal wedding: One is not amused.
Union officials have warned that they’re prepared to do the unthinkable and strike on — gasp! – April 29, which is when Prince William marries Kate Middleton. It’s obviously not an exaggeration (well, possibly a small one) to claim that the entire planet plans to descend upon England’s capital and will probably be trying to use public transit to get as close as feasibly possible to the happy couple without the need for an official invite.
The BBC is reporting that the union threatening to take action is Aslef, who most recently walked out on December 26, aka Boxing Day in the U.K., which is as close to Black Friday as it gets. But while that put a spike in the plans of shoppers chasing a bargain, a strike on Wills and Kate’s wedding day could cause chaos and upset to hundreds of thousands of people hoping to take public transport into central London.
The source of the discontent comes down to Aslef wanting triple pay ($770 instead of the usual $255 day rate) for its drivers and a day in lieu, as the wedding has been designated a public holiday. London Underground’s managing director, Mike Brown, said, “Tube drivers already have very fair levels of pay and get around seven weeks holiday a year, including allowance for bank holidays.” Brown believes Londoners would “simply be stunned at” the demands being made and that, “the only way to resolve this issue is by getting around the table for constructive talks.” For its part, Aslef’s general secretary, Keith Norman, tried to play down the possibility, insisting that no final decision has been taken.
But if the strike does go ahead, what other option would NewsFeed have than to demand that the Royal Family offers up the Royal train (yes, there is one) to ferry everyone to Westminster Abbey. The prospect of missing out is simply too much to bear. Plus, NewsFeed’s already gone ahead and bought its tuxedo.