By Jonathan Isaby

Picture 17 As reported in today's Daily Mail splash, the RMT are threatening a tube strike to coincide with the Royal Wedding and Unite are also agitating for a strike by its BA cabin crew over a 9-day period over Easter, also coinciding with the Royal nuptials.

Len McCluskey, the recently-elected Unite General Secretary, has already talked about this desire for a sinister-sounding "alliance of resistance" against the Coalition Government.

He was interviewed on the Today programme by Evan Davis this morning and asked if he would rule out supporting similar action during the 2012 Olympics.

Such an assurance came there none:

"I'm not going to be a hostage to fortune. I mean, the reality is, if there are industrial problems we constantly try to sort them out and 90 odd per cent of the time we are successful in that. It is only in those areas where workers feel a deep sense of injustice that we get into strike situations."

Philip Hammond on Marr Transport Secretary Philip Hammond has roundly condemned McCluskey, and further called on Ed Miliband to show some leadership and bring his union paymaster into line.

“We are not going to allow Britain to be dragged back to the 1970s where politically motivated union barons held the country to ransom. The Olympics is a huge opportunity for Britain and for our economy. The whole world’s eyes will be on us. We mustn’t let union militants wreck Britain’s reputation as they have in the past.

"Len McCluskey’s refusal to rule out targeting the Olympics comes just a day after tube drivers threatened to ruin the Royal Wedding.  Ed Miliband needs to show some leadership and call off his union paymasters.  These events of national celebration should be off limits to damaging political strikes.  If Ed Miliband can’t deliver that, then many people will question whether he is fit to be the leader of the national opposition party.”

This all comes at a time when there have been more tube strikes in London than for a decade and Boris Johnson is being accused of not making a serious attempt to negotiate a no-strike deal with the relevant unions.

Nonetheless, it was reported in the Sunday Times (£) at the beginning of the month that the Government has ruled out introducing emergency anti-strike laws.

Below is a further extract from McCluskey's interview this morning.

13 comments for: Philip Hammond condemns Len McCluskey as a 1970s-style union baron who Ed Miliband either needs to bring into line or cast aside

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