Tube staff plan five days of strikes

Discussion in 'London Underground' started by Manchester77, 17 Apr 2014.

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  1. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    Not really, especially if what the employee specialises in is very specific to that job and they would have to retrain to get a job with anyone else, not to mention it probably being very difficult to get one. Since London Underground unsurprisingly have a monopoly on the job of London Underground ticket office staff, it would probably have to get *really* bad for them to quit. I think it's perfectly reasonable for them to strike to try to change something that's bad, but not bad enough for them to go through the pain of trying to find a new job in this economy and retraining for it.


    If we were talking about TOC ticket offices, you might have a point since it would be much easier to work for a different TOC largely retaining the same training given it's all the same ticketing system (I expect - correct me if I'm wrong), but even then the pattern is still getting rid of ticket office staff rather than hiring new ones as far as I can tell so it would still be rather hard to find a new job in such circumstances. So, again, I would advocate striking here.
     
    Last edited: 20 Apr 2014
  2. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    You are basing your argument on stereotypes of trade unions which are miles off if the truth.

    Can you tell us how many tube or train strikes there have been over the last ten years please? That should answer your point as it just shows that strike action is very, very rare indeed and only done when all else fails. No-one benefits from a strike, least of all staff who loose pay. The unions can call as many strikes as they like but they need to convince the staff that it is worthy of loosing money over or else the staff will vote 'no', turn up to work and the strike will fail.

    You are edging towards the trolling stage with your comments-refusing to listen to the answers people on here are giving and trying to force through a non-existent point that unions strike over anything just to get their way. No matter what your anti-union bias is over, I can assure you we never get up in the morning and think 'I'd like an extra 2 grand every year...let's all go on strike till we get it'.
     
  3. DJL

    DJL Member

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    If the current plan goes ahead and all the ticket offices close. What happens the next time my Oyster card stop working randomly? (typically once every 2-3 years I find my card stops working)
     
  4. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    How do you explain the fact, then, that I've never worked anywhere where there has been a strike, and I only have ever known one person who has been on strike (a BA cabin crew member)? Most companies I've worked at have had redundancies and/or adverse changes in conditions, but people don't go on strike. They leave or threaten to leave. It is simply not the culture to strike in most industries today.

    There haven't been that many strikes in recent years, but there have been lots of strike threats. Also there have been strikes that have been called off at the last minute, which is almost as inconvenient.

    I just don't see why the management should give into a strike. There will be a loss of revenue, but there are savings in not paying to run trains or pay staff. The management will still get paid and even if they sacked they will probably be able to walk into another job, which might be even higher paid.
     
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2014
  5. Mojo

    Mojo Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    You will speak to staff in the ticket hall who will be able to make arrangements for it to be replaced. This is a much better arrangement than at present where you can only have it replaced when the ticket office is open.
     
  6. DJL

    DJL Member

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    ok that sounds good to me
     
  7. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Right...so to answer my original question-how many tube strikes have there been in the last ten years to support your claims that they keep striking?
     
  8. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    It's a fact that the railways and so on have generally kept their terms and conditions and wages when most other low to middle level industries have gone down the pan. The companies, with the exception of TfL, still generally pay a dividend to their shareholders and bump up their executive level staff's packages ever year.

    Why shouldn't people fight to prevent themselves getting a massive pay cut or ending up on the dole - a fate that rarely seems to befall executives (without a large payoff)?

    "I understand this is going to have a catastrophic impact on my life, but please carry on, it's fine".

    If it was just going to be moving staff from behind glass windows that would be one thing, but they don't want to do that - they want to slash the wages and the terms as well.

    Of course people are going to kick off. It's life changing.

    It may not be 'the culture' in other industries, but that's tough luck - they made their bed, they can lie in it.
     
    Last edited: 21 Apr 2014
  9. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    As I said, not that many, with the significant caveats of strike threats and cancelled strikes.

    It is fair enough to fight. I have never said that they shouldn't be allowed to strike. But by logical extension, it is only fair that the employer should be able to reject the demands.

    But these people end up in other, often better, more sustainable jobs. The 'union way' means that people end up in unproductive jobs which in the long term hurts the business. The business makes less money, meaning it can't pay more money or hire more staff.

    Obviously technology has made ticket office staff largely irrelevant. Ticket office staff could switch to a job or industry in which employers are actually looking for new staff which would be both beneficial for them (less menial, better prospects) and the wider economy.
     
  10. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    I'm not sure this is strictly true. After all, the proposals still effectively retain the "ticket office" staff but just not in a ticket office any more, walking around the machines instead. And presumably on lower pay (correct me if I'm wrong).
     
  11. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    Or sometimes, unfortunately, they don't and they end up having to take a raw deal and being shafted. There's no need to kick them while they're down and say 'yeah, you still have a job - but we're only going to pay you 50 or 60% or whatever and by the way, here are the new terms, like it or lump it'.
     
  12. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    So if your boss said to you that your job is going but here is one for £15k less than you are earning now and its 20 miles away from your current location, you would just say "oh thank you" and accept it would you?

    That is what this is all about!

    The railways do have form for this, DBS were losing work at a depot in the South so offered some drivers alternative jobs in Scotland, when the drivers refused to move they were made redundant (despite the companies 'no redundancy' headlines) with the company saying that the staff had been offered alternative employment but refused it leaving the company no choice.

    Do some homework on what is happening on the underground then you will understand.
     
  13. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    What do you think would happen in a 'normal' company? There would be compulsory redundancies for all ticket office staff. They probably wouldn't even bother with new station staff, but if they did, they would recruit new staff on minimum wage.

    As it is, LU are offering some kind of new job. They are only doing that because they have agreed to no compulsory redundancies. If they don't like it then there is the choice of voluntary redundancy, which (correct me if I'm wrong) is a lot more generous than the statutory minimum.

    If it was me, I would go for voluntary redundancy. Then train myself up so I could get a decent job.
     
  14. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Well said, about time some common sense arrived on the scene. Why is it that tube staff think they're something different to the hard workers in the rest of the country ?.
     
  15. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

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    I'm sure if you were to ask the hard workers in the rest of the country if they wanted to fight redundancies and pay cuts I'm sure they'd decline :roll:
     
  16. tunster

    tunster Member

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    One too many. There shouldn't need to be any at all. I don't understand how the public sector feel that their employment is avoidable to job cuts/pay cuts. There were plenty of industries that felt a lot of pain with pay freezes for many years plus many redundancies. At the end of the day, TfL are probably being pressured to streamline like all other public services across the country. Strikes are selfish when one side throws their toys out the pram so to speak. Compromise is essential in life and from everything I've read; it's the unions who refuse to make any sensible suggestions in response from my perspective.

    No-one's entitled to anything in the economy we live in. If everything should be fair, we'd in a communistic society. Although it's a lot of people affected in this situation; TfL cannot keep funding an ageing system that is ticket booths.

    From my experience, I'd be told to call the Oyster card customer services anyway. If an Oyster card broke, surely the ticket machines could offer an option to transfer to a new one by manually typing in the card number on the back (therefore disabling the old one and transferring credit to the new one).
     
  17. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Right, so, because yourselves and other people don't have the opportunity to fight to protect your own jobs it means no one else should be able to have that option either?

    Basically those of you arguing against staff striking to protect their jobs, homes, families etc are arguing purely through jealousy. How about you try and improve your own working conditions and look to your own unions? As more and more industries are slipping into the dangers of zero hours contracts which pretty much abolish any type of job security making basic things like buying or renting a house very difficult and benefit only the bosses should people not be praising those actually standing up for themselves rather than joining the many who just bend over and take whatever their bosses throw at them?

    It's very sad that when a group of workers stand up for themselves against job losses they are criticised for it mainly by the argument that "I can't stand up for my own employment right (as I have no rights...) therefore it makes me sick that your industry hasn't hit rock bottom yet and you still have any rights to stand up for. "

    In short stop criticising those trying to protect their livelihoods (Probably in vein sadly) just because you are jealous that your industry lost the right to do the same some time ago.
     
  18. carriageline

    carriageline Established Member

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    Hit the nail on the head there, teachers have had a few strikes recently (I would probably say more than the rail industry over the last few years?) yet everyone (at least who I speak to) is behind them, but when the tube workers get threatened to lose their jobs (something which the teachers are not suffering AFAIK?), and strike because of it, then they are the baddies because the poor old public can't get to work on that day.

    I don't agree that anyone should strike for the sake of it, and generally as an industry I don't think we do. People external to the industry are jealous, or maybe don't understand the clout the union has, and we have a well paid industry with an excellent safety record (do these come hand in hand? I would like to think so)

    You say you would just swallow the redundancy and retrain. Why should I? I love my job and generally my colleagues and the company, and I want to keep it, so if I worked for TFL I would strike. I just think your jealous that your company can walk over you, and has no one to stop them.

    In such a safety critical job,
    I don't think TOC/FOCs/TFL/Network Rail should be allowed to walk over employees, in fact no company should be able to


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Off topic: When the teachers moaned about social media and accusations against teachers, I thought it was a bit odd when nobody has any problems with Twitter and the like exposing MPs, celebrities etc.

    In fact, we see Twitter as a way of stopping these people hiding from their crimes.

    But an accusation against a teacher? Well, it must be malicious! No teacher can do any wrong after all.

    I'm sure many (most?) are malicious, but isn't it funny how people pick and choose which side to take?
     
  20. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    I saw quite a bit of criticism of teachers - on Facebook, silly soundbites on the news and a few other sources too - which was almost entirely on the basis that the parents in question were being deprived of free childcare for the day. No real mention of the rights and wrongs of the dispute itself, of course. If people can't see past their own (relatively minor) inconvenience to look at the bigger picture, then it's no surprise that the race to the bottom is alive and well in so many industries.
     
  21. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Well that's it summed up really. These tube workers standing up for themselves will cause people a day or two of problems getting into work and as many of them have already lost their T&Cs and are on zero hours contracts they will loose money themselves. So these tube staff should bend over and take whatever is being thrown at them-let's not worry about them loosing their own jobs as long as we arnt inconvenienced by it...same with teachers.
     
  22. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    I don't think accusing the general public of jealousy helps people sympathise with tube workers. It is really rubbing our noses in it. I may also add that it sounds like jealousy when people mention the high wages paid to their management.
     
  23. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    I'm not looking for sympathy and I don't really care if it's rubbing noses in it. Its quite clear that the public have little sympathy anyway and so it sadly has to be each to their own. Therefore if tube workers trying to fight for their jobs inconveniences the public then so be it. Id prefer a few people lost a days wage than lost their entire jobs.

    As for higher management pay it may well be jealousy but I can't see a problem with that...the point is that TFL are looking to make people earning a competitively modest 25ish K per year redundant which will mean people can't pay for their houses or living costs whilst continuing to pay sums of around a quarter of a million to those at the top. People who could probably get by easily on less. Why not start the penny pinching with the higher salaries and work down than start by sacking those at the bottom?
     
  24. bramling

    bramling Established Member

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    One has to look at the wider issues going on behind the scenes. The soundbite headline is about booking office closures, however this is not the only part of the dispute.

    *All* station staff are part of this reorganisation. This includes Station Supervisors and Duty Station Managers.

    In a nutshell, the stations setup will go from
    CSA / SAMF (booking office) / SCRA (control room assistant)
    SS
    DSM
    GSM

    to

    CSA
    CSS
    CSM
    AMS

    Part of the issue is that the numbers don't match up, so if the current plans go ahead we will see

    GSM to AMS (this is more or less guaranteed)
    DSM to AMS (promotion) or DSM to CSM (demotion)
    SS to CSM (promotion) or SS to CSS (slight demotion)
    SCRA / SAMF to CSA (demotion), though in some cases they may go up to CSS.
    CSA to CSA.

    Role allocations will be determined on the basis of a "selection event".

    I think if staff had confidence in the whole process, the pill would be easier to swallow. Unfortunately London Underground did a very similar reorganisation with some management grades in 2010, posts were allocated based on a written application form with three competency-based questions.

    The outcome of that was an unmitigated disaster. Some unsuitable individuals ended up in certain posts, either tempted by a pay rise or because putting a cross in a particular box appeared the most attractive career move. Most of these individuals are still in post today. A lot of people became very disillusioned, and hitherto highly performing and experienced staff now give a base level of performance. A quirk of the pay / grading system means it's often the case that the most highly paid staff are in the lowest grade roles -- this leads to issues as you have the ridiculous situation where two people are doing the identical job and one is paid £47k and the other over £60k.

    Another aside was that a lot of people took VS, and a bad taste was left as it was generally seen that a lot of poorly performing staff took the opportunity to leave. In some cases these staff were going to retire anyway, and I can think of examples where individuals stayed on for some time doing the bare minimum in order to secure a VS payment. Many saw this as rewarding years of poor performance.

    Getting the wrong person in a particular role is bad for the *company*, and it's bad for morale generally. The management reorganisation sidelined staff with trains knowledge, and brought over managers from the stations side of the business who were attracted by the pay increase or perceived career prospects. Many of these staff did not suit the trains side of the business, and have performed frankly appalling in their new roles. In most cases they are very weak performers, and have not responded well to training. There was also widespread suspicion about how certain people got certain roles or locations, and likewise how others didn't.

    Repeating these mistakes across the entire stations business unit could prove disastrous. I think it's fair to say most staff on LUL do want to do their best for the company, they don't want to see these mistakes repeated; at the moment this is exactly what the company is heading towards.

    None of this is a good way to run a successful business.
     
    Last edited: 22 Apr 2014
  25. chris11256

    chris11256 Member

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    This is a tricky one. On the one hand I agree with staff trying to protect their jobs and not be done over by management. It's very important that they have the right to strike. Having not worked for TFL/LU and not knowing anyone that does, I cant really comment further. Although it does seem the RMT could manage their publicity a bit better!

    However on the other hand I agree with TFL in that I don't think all stations need ticket offices and that staff structure can be made more efficient. Ultimately I feel TFL must do what's best for passengers/tax payers, as unpopular as that will be with most members of this forum. I remember watching a TV program a short while ago and a manager at an airport said 'we're not a charity to keep people employed. You have to be prepared to changed with the company' Or very similar words.
     
  26. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    I agree-especially with the last sentence. However, the easiest way to save money seems to be to downsize workforce. If staff are prepared to stand against this policy then it may make TFL re-think its plans. There will be other ways to save money and better ways if re-deploying staff. The issue is largely that TFL are trying to do this without consulting the unions. Ok the unions don't run the company but I strongly agree that staff (or in this case their representatives) should be heavily involved in any decisions likely to drastically effect their roles or employment.
     
  27. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    Come now, thats just scaremongering and you have no facts to back up your claim about most being on zero hour contracts.

    In fact the majority of people are on proper contracts and not zero hour and those who probably are on zero hour would never use the tube anyway given how expensive it is compared to using the us for them to get to and from work.
     
  28. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    A-driver said many, not most.
     
  29. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    I don't just mean zero hours staff but anyone who would loose pay if late due to a tube strike.
     
  30. paul332

    paul332 Member

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    TfL management needs to acknowledge that it's in a battle it can't win simply because the unions, especially RMT, are in a position of strength and have a mindset to continually flex their political muscle. Of course they need to modernise and get rid of redundant jobs like issuing tickets when no one wants to buy tickets any more (except the dwindling 3% who will have dwindled to virtually zero in a couple of years, and a few tourists who will still have ticket offices at main stations. Oh, and anyone else who will be able to approach roving staff armed with ticket machines at any station).

    Which means getting rid of a few highly paid jobs that are no longer needed, in a situation where to do so would precipitate action by a selfish, hypocritical clique causing massive inconvenience to other workers, London's economy and reputation, and visitors.

    So rather than plan any job shifts, what TfL needs to do is simply phase out the ticket offices as and when those staff leave or move of their own accord. Messy, but practical in the face of resolute intransigence.
     
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