ASLEF push for more female and BAME drivers

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by GingerSte, 17 Jun 2019.

  1. Mintona

    Mintona Established Member

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    Of course, nurseries and the like tend to be catered around 9-5 living for those with smaller children. My local nursery is open from 07.30-17.30 which is great for most people I imagine but slightly complicated for shift workers.

    My wife and I both work shifts and so we try and do opposites to make it as easy as possible. If there was an early link and a late link it would help us out as long as we could get in one each. Both ending up doing the same would cause us no end of issues!

    But that’s the sort of thing which I do think should be looked at going forward. The main reason being fatigue, although making work regular like that would surely have positive side effects on childcare schedules and the like too.

    It will be interesting to see what happens going forward. But I absolutely support ASLEF in trying to create a more varied working staff.
     
  2. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Indeed, it was not a serious point.
     
  3. richa2002

    richa2002 Established Member

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    Applauding the recruitment of individuals due to their gender and race is sexist/racist in my book. We're seeing it in many walks of life where being a member of a supposed oppressed group (if which there are a potentially infinite number with numerous contradictions), increasingly looks to be a factor in your employment/progression. All this does is breed more resentment and make everyone more aware of things such as race and gender. All things that seek to divide us rather than unite.
     
  4. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    No it isn't racist or sexist to believe that a more representative workforce is a good thing, as long as the rights of everyone are respected and people have equal opportunities.

    There are limits, which I argued for earlier, but to make a slur and accuse someone of being a racist or a sexist requires a high degree of evidence, which you don't have.
     
  5. richa2002

    richa2002 Established Member

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    Our definitions vary then, that is all. By saying "a more representative workforce is a good thing", you are judging an individual on their gender and/or race. As a result, you are sexist/racist. You simply see this as a positive kind of discrimination which you're perfectly entiled to.

    How far does this go though, do we then try to ensure all workforces have a good balance of political views, or eye colour, or hair colour or foot size? It's a meaningless ideology that has no end and adds very little to the progression of society, unless, these factors offer a proveable benefit to the relevant role. As I said, it just breeds more division. Judging on competency alone is the best we have and makes everyone feel they are getting an as fair crack at the whip as realistically possible.

    What even is your theory that having more women or those of different skin colours as train drivers adds any benefit whatsoever to society or the success of the railways? It's just diversity brownie points scoring with little to no tangible benefit. It's an insult to women or non-white individuals who will wonder whether they have been employed because of their gender/race, and it's an insult to men or white individuals who might think they didn't get the job because of their gender/race. Making them into bitter and twisted individuals who are more likely to blame society rather than self-improve. I really don't see how that is a good thing for society.

    It goes without saying, everyone should have the same chance at being employed for a job, but it's going way further than that these days. Equality of opportunity is to be encouraged. Equality of outcome is not.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2019
  6. option

    option Member

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  7. richa2002

    richa2002 Established Member

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  8. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    No, I am not.

    No, I am not.

    No, I do not.

    Can I ask - did you read any of my posts in this thread?

    To summarise:

    - It's good that workforces should be as representative as possible.
    - It's not realistic or reasonable that all workforces will look the same, and some jobs are better suited to some types of people than others.
    - It's good to encourage people who haven't thought about applying before to do so, if they meet the standards required.
    - It's never good to actively select an individual above other individuals because of their race, gender or any other protected characteristic.
    - We should be mindful about what the consequences are for the industry when recruiting large numbers of women into a grade which has a rigorous custom and practice culture, especially when it comes to shift working and child care responsibilities (most childcare falls to women), be realistic about what this might cost and what, if any, operational benefits or disbenefits this might lead to.
    - We should be realistic about how many or few women really do want to be train drivers - we aren't going to get to 50%.

    But nobody - certainly not me - is suggesting we actively recruit a black person or a woman above a white man because of their race or gender.

    There is no theory. As I took pains to point out in earlier posts you seem not to have read, it's a good thing to expand the recruitment base to get as many people to apply as possible - this drives up the overall standard. There are certainly some good women train drivers and some from the BAME demographics that TOCs aren't currently getting applications from.

    Oops!

    Some irrelevant riffing on a theme that was never mentioned.

    Nobody is arguing for equality of outcome. But, if you get more applications from BAME people and women, you will probably see more of them driving trains in the future.
     
  9. option

    option Member

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    You should expect that you have recruited those most suitable for the positions, & be able to prove it.

    So, you could end up with all 5 women getting positions, & no men.
     
  10. Bellbell

    Bellbell Member

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    You don't see a benefit to society in a more representative workforce? Or a more even spread of salary?

    I'm frankly amazed and almost impressed at how some on this thread have managed to get to the point of presenting the choice as employing white men who are apparently innately superior as train drivers vs employing women who are not only rubbish, but will demand to work only tues and thursdays from 1000-1400. This kind of ridiculous hyperbole is what shuts down debate and enables the status quo to continue.

    What's saddest of all is that this thread is a perfect representation of the mess room. For as long as this attitude prevails nothing much will change. I'm so appreciative of the posts on this thread which show an insight into the issues and a desire to look further into what's going on.
     
  11. Railweigh

    Railweigh Member

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    I don’t even know what BAME means. I don’t see any point in actively recruiting certain groups of people - the vacancies are open to anyone, just put the best candidates through regardless of sex, age, colour or anything else.
     
  12. Martin1504

    Martin1504 Member

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    While the TOCs can attract thousands of white males to the driving grade why should they care about attracting women or ethnics??
    ANYONE can apply for the job, we don't need favouritism or bias towards so called minority groups.
     
  13. theblackwatch

    theblackwatch Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Perhaps ASLEF need to lead by example and stop its references to 'Brother X' which gives (in my view) an 'all boys stick together' impression? One wonder what women members/drivers make of things like the minutes of the March 2019 meeting downloadable here from which I quote a couple of lines:

     
  14. Bellbell

    Bellbell Member

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    Do you know how to use Google?
     
  15. TheBigD

    TheBigD Member

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  16. LordCreed

    LordCreed Member

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    I think you're both missing the point. Minority groups might simply believe that they'd never get offered the job, and as such never apply. It's about encouraging everyone to apply, and basing all applications on their skills and experience as opposed to their gender / race.
     
  17. tiptoptaff

    tiptoptaff Established Member

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    The other side to the "accommodated" argument is that turns are rewritten to accommodate.

    At one of the depots I cover, there's an accommodated link, and the driver works their own turn. Same turn, every day. When they're off on leave, it's a pig to cover. Why? Cos no one wants it. It's longer than most of the others to make up the average hours. And it starts and ends in 'normal' rush hour. So no one wants it. Good for the childcare side as it fits a nursery, but unpopular overall.

    So, just because someone is being accommodated, doesn't mean they're getting a cushy shift.

    On the guards side at the same depot, it's split Early, Late and mixed link. So splitting the work can, in theory, be done. The difficulty of course, is choosing who goes in the fixed time links.
     
  18. O L Leigh

    O L Leigh Established Member

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    Yes they can. But many don’t. So what’s the harm in asking them “Have you considered a career in driving trains?”

    In addition, I fear your use of language reveals more about you than perhaps you ought.
     
  19. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    That sounds more than a bit Soviet.
     
  20. richa2002

    richa2002 Established Member

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    You state this is as a fact but I don't see your justification for why having different genders/races/select your chosen group is good
    Absolutely, can't disagree with that. I would say let's just not care what they look like full stop.
    Possibly. Especially if there is a shortage of applicants. Train driver jobs are some of the highest subscribed around though so quantity obviously isn't the issue here. It is the aforementioned diversity agenda.
    Pleased we can agree on that.
    Agreed. In the absence of any evidence that having women in the job provides any objective benefit, why push for it when it could well cause the problems you describe? The only reason I can see is once again, the ideoligical diversity agenda.
    Why should we get to any percent? Why don't we just let women apply if they want to? Why do they need to be actively encouraged?
    I'm pleased you don't think that but I still fail to understand why gender or race even matters. Gender only possibly matters due to the reasons you state above but let women work that out for themselves as to whether they want to apply for such a job.
    I'm certainly pleased to hear that.
    Correct. I was merely responding to the original post and subsequently your replies to me. As mentioned above though, are TOCs really struggling for high standard candidates at the moment?
    It's called widening the discussion and looking at the motivations/context to press releases such as this.
    Correct but once again, still don't know why this even matters.
     
  21. richa2002

    richa2002 Established Member

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    Not particularly, no. I'm interested in everyone having an equal crack at getting a job and the most competent people doing jobs. Not interested in their gender or race.
     
  22. TheBigD

    TheBigD Member

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  23. DanDaDriver

    DanDaDriver Member

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    Aslef would consider the soviets to be dangerously right wing.

    Although they do refer to women members as “sister.”
     
  24. Bellbell

    Bellbell Member

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    We should also be mindful that men die younger, are more likely to suffer from liver disease, stomach cancer and bowel cancer, more likely to die if they get skin cancer, are three times more likely to commit suicide, are more likely to catch cold and flu viruses and have higher rates of heart disease, be realistic about what this might cost and what, if any, operational benefits or disbenefits this might lead to.
     
  25. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Diverse workforces tend to perform better and nearly all businesses report benefits from having a wide selection people from an array of backgrounds contributing to their successes.

    I am not trying to justify having different genders or races though, I'm simply saying that in the vast majority of cases, a healthy mix of employees from different backgrounds is a likely indicator that your recruitment process is fair. Equal access to good jobs based on merit is a key indicator of a healthy and inclusive society.

    So you only really want to make efforts to ensure that BAME people and women apply for jobs for which there is limited demand and a shortage of applicants - have you thought about why that might be the case? Train driving is an excellent and well paid career which helps people get on in life; it's good to encourage everyone to apply. Think about how train driver vacancies are currently advertised, and where - and what sort of people visit those spaces to know how and where to apply.

    Train driving is a serious profession. You can kill people if you do it wrongly. Let's encourage as many people to apply as possible and put them through the same fair process.

    Because many of them don't know it's a viable career, and within that bulwark are likely to be a few excellent drivers.

    See my first answer.
     
  26. TheBigD

    TheBigD Member

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    You missed off the gender tax gap...

    https://pjmedia.com/drhelen/2016/08/18/the-real-gender-gap-the-tax-gap/
     
  27. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Indeed - we need an honest study of what the shift in employment demographics will mean financially, as well as encouraging applicants from all sections of society. Women generally cost more to employ than men - assuming the same salary.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2019
  28. richa2002

    richa2002 Established Member

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    I find this very questionable though. Are we really saying that Isambard Kingdom Brunel would have been even more successful if he'd just had a few women and non-white people involved? I strongly suspect it's a zero sum game at best. I think any objective motivations behind this diversity drive pale vastly in comparison with the ideological motivations.
    It would be interesting to see what it's done to family life and the cost of living. Surviving on a single income becomes harder and harder as two income families become more and more common.
     
  29. Bellbell

    Bellbell Member

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    Forgive me if the level of critical thinking involved in such gems as 'the government (the institution granting [women] rights)' doesn't fill me with confidence that that's an objectively researched and well thought out piece.
     
  30. Metal_gee_man

    Metal_gee_man Member

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    Thank you and good night... I would feel discriminated against if my interview and test scores were better than someone who fitted the ethnic or gender bias recruitment target and were offer the job over me.
    It's a slippery slope unless they open up the transparency of the recruitment decisions to ensure no one is discriminated against
     

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