Tuesday, 9 June 2009


I don't normally comment on stuff like this (mainly because I don't understand it too well!) but I read today that London Underground staff would be starting a 48 hour strike at 18.59 today.

According to the source I read (ok, it was the BBC website) the RMT were offered the following pay rise - "...a four-year deal of 1.5% this year and then the inflation rate plus 0.5%; or a two-year deal of 1% now and inflation plus 0.5% in year two." However, the RMT wanted "...a 5% pay rise and a promise of no compulsory redundancies."

Now it seems to me that the RMT is being unreasonably demanding, considering the state of the financial world right now, where a lot of people are lucky to even have jobs, let alone be in the position to try and force a pay rise. The figures quoted as being offered seem reasonable in this current climate, which again will be more than a lot of people will get. But that's not enough the for RMT. Oh no! (I will just say that I don't know all the ins and outs of this story, so maybe there is more money available than what's being offered, and that's why the RMT is demanding more...I'm unsure).
Anyway, because they are not getting what they want, they go on strike, affecting thousands of Londoners who are only trying to get to work to earn money to keep their families in food, and heat, and housing. I know I've posted about this sort of thing before, but I read this story and wanted to make the point again - Do the RMT imagine that those people who will be truely hit by this strike will be sympathetic to their cause? If I were still working in London, I know I wouldn't be. I would be cursing those people who have gone on strike. I'd imagine the RMT are doing this to force TfL (Transport for London) to bow to their demands, by forcing the public to complain to them and say things like "Ya boo sucks give them their money" or something. But I know personally, I wouldn't complain to TfL, I'd bitch to the people who have made the decision to go on strike, because THEY are the one's doing the damage.

However, seeing as I work 10 minutes from home and drive to work, this won't really affect me anyway. But it would have done a few years ago!

Update: Here's more information from the BBC. Not just thousands, but millions could be affected, and could cost the London economy £100m! Great news in this current climate, eh?


colin said...

There all bloody selfish and they don't give a toss about how normal working folk get to work.

Mrs white will be affected tomorrow and she will have to leave our house even earlier just so she can get a seat. With her condition and all that.

London underground staff have been able to get away with this for too long now.

Lastly England play tomorrow night and the poor fans will have problems getting home.
Wembley is bad enough as it is let alone a bloody strike. some fans might not get home till 2-3 am in the morning.
I think the F A have rightly held back some tickets.

Charlie Naseweis said...

I don't think that the 70,000 football fans traveliing to wembley tomorrow night will be very sympathetic when they're all crammed on to the overland trains & buses. I really detest Bob Crow, he's a nasty throwback to the dark days if the 1970's, and I'm sure he times strikes to cause maximum disruption to Joe Public, this isn't the first time for example that the RMT have threatened a strike to coincide with an England game. I can see this strike backfiring big time, especially when most firms (like mine) are having pay freezes. 5%? my arse.

Emma said...

In general, I am very supportive of trade unions but surely demanding 5% and no compulsory redundancies in these times is just out of touch with reality. The train drivers (tube and previously the railway) always seem very quick to strike. I don't like that but I understand why they (the RMT mgmt) do it.

russ said...

Putting the strike conversation to the side for a bit.... how hard is it to actually drive a tube train?

- Pilots have to worry about 3 axis (forward/back, left/right and up/down)

- Bus drivers have to worry about 2 axis (forward/back and left/right)

- Whereas tube drivers only have forward/back to worry about. Hardly a skill.

Reminds me of a Weakest Link question:
Q. Do trains have steering wheels?
A (by contestant): Yes!


russ said...

(and yes, I know, pilot's don't tend to go use their reverse gear!!)

Simon said...

Russ - good point! AND they get some sort of emotional payment if someone jumps in front of their train... why? To me it'd be like a game... (ooh, harsh).

Emma said...

Russ, on the underground they are actually called train operators not train drivers - says it all ...

Colin said...

What ever there bloody called ...... there Fxxxxxxg selfish and causing massive headaches for Londeners trying to go about there daily lives......

I will not have fun tomorrow .....