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What’s a “proposed industrial action”? Something that can cancel a Premier League game

Dec 19, 2012, 10:16 AM EST

OLY2012-LONDON Getty Images

There’s going to be a subway worker’s strike in London on Boxing Day (next Wednesday). The whole city’s going to freak out, the cries of millions of stranded tourists, shoppers, and soccer fans ricocheting off the city’s seemingly 10,000-year-old stone buildings. Stock up on the canned goods now.

One thing the city won’t have to worry about, however, is a rush of spectators toward North London’s Emirates Stadium. That’s because Arsenal’s Boxing Day match with West Ham has already been called off in anticipation of the chaos.

From West Ham’s official website:

As a result of Monday’s strike ballot and the proposed industrial action on London Underground on Boxing Day, West Ham United’s Barclays Premier League match against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium, originally planned for Wednesday 26 December, has been postponed.

West Ham United and Arsenal liaised closely with all the relevant agencies, including the Metropolitan Police, Transport for London, London Underground, The Premier League and Islington Council, in order to reach this decision.

The paramount concern was always the duty of care towards supporters of both sides and everyone else who was planning to attend the match on Boxing Day.

On the field, this probably isn’t great news for West Ham. After all, you’d rather play Arsenal sooner than later, these days.

Still, given news of this “tube strike” had been floating for some time, the most interesting part of today’s announcement was the silly Orwellian euphemism used to describe the strike: “proposed industrial action.”

First, Proposed Industrial Action sounds like a Fine Young Cannibals album. Second, it also implies Transformers are involved (though I’m not sure how). But finally, it’s a really sterile and de-humanizing way to describe a bunch of people walking away from a paycheck in a labor dispute.

I’m also left wondering if Proposed Industrial Action will stay up in this year’s Nigerian Premier League, but we can talk about that after Boxing Day.

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