Thursday 22 December 2011

Tube Strikes: The cost of greed........

"25 year old female, palpations, uncontrollable rage"

After hearing about the proposed tube drivers strike on Boxing day I launched an expletive filled rant at my crew mate. I unloaded. It was no holes barred, uncontrolled, unadulterated anger. His about it! So I am. My views on strikes in general are not a secret. I don't agree with them at the best of times. I didn't strike during the public sector strikes last month but despite my opinion on striking, it was a worthy cause. This abomination of a strike is pure greed from the motley crew collection of overweight, miserable, lazy money grabbers that will only effect the poorest people. 

Here are some facts and figures about train drivers and the slave like working conditions they are unfairly forced to endure:

  • Average salary: £45,545
  • Pay rise by 2015: £52,000
  • Average shift length: 9 hours
  • Bonus for working during the Olympics: £1800
  • Yearly Annual Leave: 43 days
  • Time off for a 'One Under': 3 months minimum
  • Rest break guaranteed: 45 minutes 
  • Boxing day compensation: Triple pay, + day off in lieu.

For a job that could be done by a 6 year old, they are pretty damn good conditions. Better wages than a first officer on an aeroplane, better than newly qualified lawyers, better than Doctors and more than double that of a policeman, nurse and paramedic. Yet, like last boxing day they are striking again. And this is despite after their most recent pay deal in October, the PROMISE there would be no further strikes on pay until 2015. It is of no real surprise though. The union representing them is Aslef, a union who has built itself a reputation of being an industrial saboteur. The blackmail tactics, lies and complete disregard for public consequences is a disgusting abuse of striking law. They repeatedly move the goal post to squeeze more and more out of the spineless London Underground management and despite the 1996 agreement where their annual leave was secured with the proviso of some bank holidays being worked, they are again going back on their promises. These are not demands for fair working conditions, they are demands based purely on greed. Like the ambulance service London Underground is classed as an essential service so why their staff should be entitled to special dispensation over the festive period I don't know. Police, Fire, Ambulance, Coastguard, Doctors, Nurses, Carers and every other emergency / essential service have to work over christmas so why shouldn't they?

Maybe they should take a moment to look at the working conditions of that of a Paramedic in London. In reality the disparity in working conditions won't register on the radar of this selfish breed of people but hey, it's an interesting read.

  • Average salary: £21,176 (basic)
  • Pay rise by 2015: Frozen for 2 years then 1% a year thereafter
  • Average shift length: 12 hours
  • Bonus for working during the Olympics: None. 
  • Yearly Annual Leave: 27 days, including bank holidays
  • Time off for a 'One Under': None. Expected to be available within 15 minutes
  • Rest break guaranteed: None
  • Boxing day compensation: 7.5 hours in lieu even if a 12 hour shift was worked

Quite a contrast isn't it. I won't be spending any of Christmas or New Year with my family or friends. It all falls on my work days. I don't get extra pay. I don't get anything extra. It's part of the job. It's when i'm rostered to work. That's life. Perhaps it’s time the government looked again at the union legislation and extended the no strike ban on Police and the Army to all essential services including the London Underground. Better still, in the modern age of technology and industry, and the success of the DLR why don't they scrap tube drivers all together. Automate everything. Chuck em' on the scrap heap to earn an honest salary like the rest of us. No more strikes. No more travel misery. In such frail economic times the capital simply cannot afford the disruption these greedy, self centered, lazy pigs will cause. The truth is the strike will have a devastating effect on the first day of sales at the end of one of the worse trading periods for retailers for 60 years. It will cost millions in lost revenue. And the people who work in the shops are at the lowest end of the income level – the very ones the unions are supposed to support. Disgusting.

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