Travel chaos for Orpington residents as unions strike

Jo Johnson slams industrial action and calls on Labour to stand up for commuters

Orpington Parliamentary Conservative Candidate, Jo Johnson this week expressed his disappointment at the strike action caused by Unite and the threat of action by the RMT union which will disrupt the Easter holiday season and make lives a misery for thousands of workers.

Jo Johnson is calling on the local Labour candidate to condemn the strike action and in addition, encourages British Airways staff and those who work on the railways to stand up to the strikers and cross the picket line. Jo Johnson also calls on the Labour Party to stop taking money from Unite during the period of industrial unrest.

In the three years since Gordon Brown became Prime Minister, Unite has spent more than £11 million of its members’ money on boosting influence within the Labour Party. This extends from placing a key union operative inside 10 Downing Street to installing Unite activists and officials as Parliamentary candidates.

Jo Johnson said:
“Labour’s union paymasters at Unite are determined to inflict travel misery on families across Orpington. It is very disappointing that they are going ahead with this unnecessary strike. Its even more worrying that the RMT are planning days of misery on the railways.

“Gordon Brown should do all he can to urge Unite and the RMT to call off the strikes. Or he should stop taking their money.

“Orpington and the whole country now faces travel disruption due to Labour’s new militant tendency, worsened by union barons who want to bring our railways to a standstill as well. Strike action could leave the country facing a serious transport meltdown.”

Notes to Editors

A briefing note on the links between the Labour Party and the Unite trade union is available at:

It includes lists of the MPs and Parliamentary Candidates who are bankrolled by Unite and/or who are Unite members (page 12 onwards).