Britain’s trade unions admitted last night they were ‘deeply sorry and embarrassed’ after allowing almost the entire summer to pass by undisrupted by strikes.
‘This was a genuine oversight,’ said a senior official at the Fire Brigades Union. ‘We thought it was the NASUWT’s turn, but apparently they’d left it to us and Unite to sort out this year.’ A last-minute strike called for this week on the London Underground is expected to help rectify the error, but millions of people will still have missed out on traditional summer pastimes such as fuming at travel disruption, not receiving any post for six weeks, and spending four nights sleeping on uncomfortable seating at Heathrow Airport.
Despite the bungle, the TUC claims that disruption to British business, tourists and commuters has been at an acceptable level. ‘There was that Icelandic volcano earlier in the year which grounded hundreds of flights,’ said a spokesman for the Transport & General Workers’ Union. ‘That did most of our work for us this year. And don’t forget the Professional Footballers’ Association went on a very successful work-to-rule during the World Cup – they were home in no time and managed to spoil everybody’s summer without even having a ballot. Job done, if you’ll excuse the irony.’