Tube staff plan five days of strikes

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

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  1. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    I find it offensive that Mike Brown preaches the need to "downsize" and "make efficiency savings" whilst trousering the thick end of half a million quid of farepayers' and taxpayers' money.

    I can find one quick win for "making efficiency savings", and that's not paying the greedy fat cat Brown a £164,000 bonus.

    You DO realise that anyone who goes on strike loses a day's pay, don't you? I work in higher education and I've been on strike twice this year, it's cost me the best part of £200. Do you think my union members and I can afford to chuck away £200 over any old petty grievance?

    People who "don't like" or "don't believe" in trade unions are filthy scabby hypocrites, happy to freeload off the hard work of trade unionists. I assume you enjoy having weekends off, and 28 days annual leave a year, and protection from unfair dismissal, and basic health and safety at work. Without trade unions you'd have none of that. If you hate trade unionism that much, why don't you tell your employer you don't want any of the goodies trade unionism earned for you?
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2014
  2. Clip

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    Well it took long enough for someone to come on and post overly emotive language and deride others for their opinion didnt it :roll:
     
  3. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    =Clip;Well it took long enough for someone to come on and post overly emotive language and deride others for their opinion didnt it :roll:/


    What was wrong with what the above poster said then? I think that was a very good and accurate post. It certainly didn't deride anyone of their opinion.
     
  4. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    When you had kids going down 't pit 18 hours a day with no safety precautions for 1p a year, you would have had a point. But there is now enough employment regulation to give reasonable protection for employees.

    What I think should be improved is unemployment benefit, so that being made redundant is not so disadvantageous. In more progressive European countries, you get a high proportion of your salary until you find another job, and you get it for a long time. So employees often ask for redundancy as it will often work out well for them if they get a new job in a reasonable amount of time.

    Denmark has 'flexicurity', so employers can hire and fire at will, but there is generous unemployment benefit and they get excellent training while unemployed.
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2014
  5. Clip

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    Really?

    Pretty much does exactly what I said.
     
  6. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    It's a fair point though-considering some posters come on here pretty much describing unions and unionists as scum of the earth looking to cause huge disruption for no reason...employment law and what the poster described have pretty much been forced through by unions.

    Some people now virtually have no employment protection or t&c's. Unions are pretty much all that are preventing that from spreading to numerous other industries- most definately including the railway there. If it wasn't for unions then our employers would love to have us on a fraction of the money, far more work, covering all sorts of other people's jobs, accountable for everything we do and sacked at the drop of a hat to save company image without looking at root causes, enforced unpaid overtime, split shifts, no sick or holiday pay, buying our own uniform and equipment etc etc.
     
  7. Clip

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    I dont disagree with what you say nor how the unions have done for the greater good of the people in some workplaces in the past BUT by using such language and slagging people off because they have got fed up with this **** is no better than what they are fighting for.
     
  8. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    People who "don't like" or "don't believe" in trade unions are filthy scabby hypocrites, happy to freeload off the hard work of trade unionists. I assume you enjoy having weekends off, and 28 days annual leave a year, and protection from unfair dismissal, and basic health and safety at work. Without trade unions you'd have none of that. If you hate trade unionism that much, why don't you tell your employer you don't want any of the goodies trade unionism earned for you?[/QUOTE]


    Are you for real ?

    I totally object to an [all-too-typical] union member shouting his mouth off trying to tell everyone else what they should or shouldn't do.

    Are you surprised that most of the country consider certain union members to be prehistoric in their attitude to others ?
     
  9. chris11256

    chris11256 Member

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    How about we change course here back to the actual topic, which is the upcoming strikes and massive unnecessary disruption that will be caused. Both sides are just as bad!!

    Just because unions represent workers, doesn't automatically make them right in the argument. However saying that I think TFL are being ridiculous in their flexibility(or lack of).

    As a commuter ultimately I just want trains to run on time, I could't care less if all ticket offices shut tomorrow! TFL just need to properly discuss what then happens with ticket office staff(whether they want voluntary redundancy or be redeployed elsewhere).
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2014
  10. cjmillsnun

    cjmillsnun Established Member

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    Have you seen the job market lately? All zero hour contracts and minimum wage. Dumping thousands onto the dole would not help.

    I am thankful that in my industry there are unions (and I am a member despite not supporting the Labour party) who fight for me to have some basic rights. We've never been nor even threatened industrial action, mainly because the management listen to the unions and there is a compromise which generally results in more productivity and the company making more money which it can pass as dividends to its shareholders (many of them are unionised employees!).

    Ticket office staff are essential in Zone 1. The tube system is confusing in some cases for tourists (try explaining the Northern Line through zone one and the importance of getting on the right train at Euston to travel south). For a commuter, that's easy. For someone from France, where the Metro doesn't split into branches like that, it doesn't make sense. A lot of the time, it's the ticket office who explain when the tickets are actually bought.

    Outside of zone 1 there is a point that perhaps ticket offices are not an essential. These stations see far less tourist traffic and are more about commuters. Many of whom have Oyster seasons. However this is also about cutting staff to the bare minimum at stations. So say at King's Cross this is done. Someone phones in sick. Either someone has to stay on overtime with zero notice or the station has to close until someone arrives as there are not enough staff to legally cover the safety duties of the station. (which probably means another station has had to close and that this replacement is unfamiliar with the complex layout of KGX). Can you imagine the disruption that would cause? Nowadays what would happen is there would be enough staff to continue cover, allowing the station to continue to operate.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2014
  11. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    The median (not average which is higher) wage in the UK is £517 per week, more in London:

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/dec/12/uk-median-weekly-pay-is-517-but-who-earns-that

    OK, that is people already in work, but I doubt vacancies aren't that different. A quick look on jobsite.co.uk shows that almost all vacancies are for well above minimum wage.

    Metro lines 7 and 13 have branches and all the RER lines do, with varying stopping patterns denoted by 4 letter codes. It is proposed to phase out ticket offices on the Paris metro. To help people find their train on the London Underground, staff would be better placed outside the ticket office.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2014
  12. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    I'm interested in how queueing is going to work - if the member of staff is moving around showing people where to go how do you keep track of a queue? Are the less mobile going to suffer?
     
  13. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    In my experience Jobsite is littered with jobs that are no longer available, and I would not rely on it as an accurate source as to what vacancies are currently open.

    I suspect that my area is similar to many outside London and the South East. There are well paid jobs in the area, but these opportunities are increasingly rare, as terms and conditions, including pay, are constantly being eroded for new entrants and retained for current employees.

    In addition, there are very few job opportunities here that are anywhere near the median wage. Those that do exist are usually very specialist positions that require extensive qualifications plus significant experience.

    None of this means that I am against the higher salaries found in London and the surrounding area. I just can't be as positive about the job market as your post suggests.
     
  14. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    What happens today? Most people with questions seek out the most accessible member of staff, which invariably is the barrier staff. They do seem able to resolve most questions without referring them to the ticket office. I also don't see that many people queuing at the barrier. Presumably barrier staff will be retained. So in future passengers will be able to talk to both barrier staff and the extra station staff.

    London will be well staffed compared to metro systems abroad. Many metro systems don't even staff their barriers.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    But most people are well qualified. Obviously a lot of people have been to university and trained to be doctors, teachers, accountants, engineers etc. and have got a number of years experience in those fields. Most of the rest have acquired some valuable skills through their years of work which could be transferred to other industries if desired.

    You would think that most people in the UK are in poverty the way some people talk. The fact is that the UK is a wealthy country with most people earning a good income. They can afford cars, foreign holidays, comfortable furniture, the latest electrical goods etc.

    We are talking about people working in London in this thread, so they are particularly fortunate to be in the most prosperous part of the country and one of the richest areas of the world.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2014
  15. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Whatever people's opinions about wether staff are better in or out of the ticket office you are missing the point of the strike.

    They are striking over the overall reduction in staff numbers and downgrading of the remaining jobs. The union are there to protect the jobs of their members and that is exactly what they are trying to do. They are not interested in weather or not the new system will work but only if their members will still have a job and be able to sustain their standards of living which is exactly what a union should be doing.
     
  16. paul332

    paul332 Member

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    Various posters have made the excellent point that in the past strikes have been all about securing basic employment rights and decent pay. Which is why these events are a complete betrayal of everything decent that the trades union movement has ever stood for.
    These strikes are not about basic conditions or decent pay – the underground has these in spades. Salaries of tube train drivers are up there with the best (thanks to union activity, of course), and conditions are exemplary. Most workers would give their right arm for conditions like these.

    But now it’s all about greed. No one is disputing that all workers want to protect their pay. But all businesses must modernise – if they hadn’t, Britain and the rest of the world would still be tilling land with no industry, trains or anything more modern than a horse-drawn plough (and not even that). People who want to retain the status quo for ever (as the RMT, unbelievably, has stated it does – “zero modernisation”) are dinosaurs, and should be equally extinct. [The argument about whether the planet as a whole is better off for all this “civilisation” is a different one entirely but I doubt many RMT strikers would seriously argue for a return to prehistory.]

    The action being taken, causing misery and hardship to millions of other workers and businesses who are striving desperately and conscientiously to restore and improve our own situations as we struggle out of the recession, is totally disproportionate to the job security of a tiny proportion of the TfL workforce, which Mike Brown has guaranteed in any case. If someone finds themselves at risk of being downgraded, then do something about it for ****’s sake, don’t hold the whole of London to ransom! Get off your butts and try a bit of self-improvement for a change, like everyone else not cosseted in the cosy secure womb of a ridiculously outmoded mother union.

    That is why the general public loathes the tube drivers with a vengeance – they’re paid salaries most workers can only dream of for jobs that aren’t exactly demanding. Nurses and teachers, police and firemen, on the other hand, do seriously demanding work, often dangerous, for a relative pittance. They deserve much, much more than the tube driver sitting in a nice warm cab all day pressing buttons. [And naturally, when things go wrong, every single one of us has a duty to do all we can to help others, so any argument about “responsibility for a trainload of people” is crap.]

    Any pretence that this is justified in the name of basic rights is delusion, hypocrisy and sheer bloody-mindedness. And the members that blindly follow these politicised union bully-boys should resist this crass idiocy and make a stand for decency and common sense.
    Of course they should be striving for their futures, but through discussion and negotiation. I’m sure the TfL management aren’t blameless in this respect – but it’s not them imposing the strike, and it’s hypocritical bunk to imply otherwise.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2014
  17. Mojo

    Mojo Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    This strike is nothing to do with the drivers, though.
     
  18. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    So 23k (which is what most station staff will be on in the future) is a salary that most people can only dream of?
    Don't confuse the salaries of tube drivers with station staff...This is not tube drivers striking, it's station staff.

    And presumably you're saying that because the professions you've chosen deserve a decent salary, no-one else does?

    The average teacher is on 32k.

    There have been at least 10 meetings between TfL and the unions. TfL have not changed their plans in any way.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2014
  19. DT611

    DT611 Member

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    immotive gibberish, nobody is being "held to ransom" you might have to leave the house earlier and get the bus instead for a few days, in smaller cities it can be bus only and thats it, no tube, no metro
    so jealousy then, thanks, demanding is subjective

    and you think the public don't begrudge them either? some do believe me, especially the teachers
    nobody would disagree.
    you lose any argument when you try and downgrade someone elses job, do you drive trains? even though i don't i can appreciate what can be involved.
     
  20. chris11256

    chris11256 Member

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    Ultimately it is in both parties interest to negotiate. RMT need to put forward credible solutions and TFL need to actually listen. Currently it's only going to harden people attitudes.

    The longer this drags on I eventually see it getting to the stage where Westminster simply makes it near on impossible to vote for strike.


    In a separate thing, if it's only some station staff striking why are they only planning to run a District line service every 12 minutes? Surely if a station is open, they can run as many trains as they are able? *forgive a probably ignorant question, I only use trains to get to work and haver never worked for a railway*
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2014
  21. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    As soon as a poster ("paul332") starts comparing rail staff to nurses, policeman, firemen eat I tend to yawn and switch off. It's an old fashioned and cliched argument which means nothing.

    Nurses work very hard and are paid very poorly. That dosnt mean that I as a train driver should compare myself to them and appreciate how well I'm paid and not strive for even more. Nurses should fight for better pay, not look for those better off like train drivers to drop their pay and conditions to their level.

    And for "paul322" infomation, tube drivers are not the ones striking-most of what you posted is rubbish and shows a misunderstanding of the situation.

    Sorry but the argument "you get more than these people therefore you should count yourselves lucky and stop striving for better" is absolute rubbish fueling a race to the bottom. If business said 'well we are doing better than our competition therefore that's good enough, let's be grateful for what we have and stop trying to further improve' then people would take a very different view. But when workers try to improve their lives whilst already doing well people claim it's unjustifiable greed.

    Don't drag us down to other people's levels-bring them up to what we have.
     
  22. Dstock7080

    Dstock7080 Established Member

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    All RMT Operating staff were involved in the ballot for industrial action, so drivers, station staff, depot shunters, signal control staff are all taking a degree of action. Service levels are on the predicted assumption that non-union, ASLEF members and others will present themselves for duty.

    During the last RMT action LU were only able to provide a 4-train Ealing Broadway-High Street Kensington shuttle as trains had not been certified for passenger operation by RMT depot staff and the lack of signal control staff at Earls Court, despite the fact that 27 ASLEF drivers were available to work.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2014
  23. chris11256

    chris11256 Member

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    Ahh thats fair enough. Someone said it's only station staff. Thanks for explaining.

    Already planning on getting the mainline train 20 minutes earlier!
     
  24. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    This also includes fleet staff in the bulletins I have been seeing, so train maintenance and prep staff.

    No train prep = no train.
     
  25. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Nurses don't really have the same opportunity to improve their situation. They don't strike because they fear that people will die if they do. Also, a lot of people want to be nurses as a lot of people see it as their vocation. So they go into the industry despite knowing in advance that it is low paid. If few people wanted to be nurses then the salary would have to increase to encourage people into the profession. However, that is constrained by the fact that the hospital's main income is from the taxpayer. When there are nursing shortages, it is relatively easy to get people from abroad to fill in the gap.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2014
  26. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Right-so why does that mean train drivers should be compared to nurses and stop trying to improve their pay and conditions? If nurses wanted train driver pay and conditions there is nothing stopping them from applying for train driver jobs.

    Also, these nurses on low wage and poor conditions that people go on about are only the basic level nurses. Nurses have career progression into specialties, private healthcare etc. Infact a friend of my wife's is a nurse and earns considerably more than I do. Train driving is basically a dead end job with no career progression or ability to move into better paid areas. Police are exactly the same-a rank and file PC may be badly paid compared to a train driver but once they have worked up a senior detective or management police rank can be very, very well paid.
     
  27. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    It doesn't. But train drivers have considerably more leverage so it is easier for them to get better pay and conditions. Not everyone can become a train driver because of the physical attributes required. So train drivers can justify a relatively high salary even without union intervention.

    Can't tube drivers become managers of other tube drivers, and then promoted into general LU management?
     
  28. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    Deleted coz I cant be bothered to answer all the ill informed rubbish that posters (who dont even seem to know what the strike is actually about "its all about greed" :roll:) seem happy to put their names too!

    The posts just prove that you have never had a job where you are in fear of losing your job in the name of saving money, if you want to believe its all about a better underground then believe what you want, it certainly wont be better for the travelling public or visitors thats for sure!
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2014
  29. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    This appears to only ever be getting worse with the employment policies of LU/TfL, many TOCs and other railway operators. This is not exclusively a TfL problem.

    Progression from an operational position into operational management was, until recently, a realistic career progression pathway, even with a large pool of say, CSAs to pick from for a supervisor role, only a few of these have any wish to progress their career within the natural role, so those who wished to progress could logically do so if compitant and having the drive to do so, the same from Station Supervisor, to Duty Station Manager, Group Station Manager etc.

    The same could be said of drivers (feel free to correct me on this if I'm wrong A-Driver, 455Driver et al.), where one could move from 'Driver' to 'Instructor Operator', DTSM, and other managment roles.

    It seems that today, and for a few years now, the senior management would much rather put into position a graduate of two to three years 'scheme' experience into a local managerial position. One can read into this what you like around the problems of a non-progressed supervisor and motivation of local staff to have respect and ultimately, obedience for/to this new local manager, as well as the obvious implication that an ex. graduate will likely not be a unionized member of staff, especially those placed into such positions. For now I will disregard this as it is a matter for another conversation.

    The direct implication is the effective removal of role progression for members of station staff (the prominent part of this thread, I would not care to get into an argument regarding driver management at the moment).

    So if one where a member of station staff, say at a CSA grade, or even progressed as far as possible by taking all specialisms to be a ticket office member of staff in an attempt to progress one's career, one cannot now progress into any management role as it is full of graduates parachuted in by the company. One would also struggle into a supervisory position as these are now starting to be filled by 'operational apprentices'.

    I have little point to this, just a matter of information that almost any traditionally employed CSA, TOA, Driver, etc. is no longer likely to have any natural progression within a transport company, as used to exist. Unlike any of the other professions I have seen banded around in this thread.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    See above,

    Not really, and any sideways movement in an attempt to do so would likely result in a significant pay (and conditions) cut in an attempt to do so.

    Here here on this.
    I honestly doubt that any of the anti-union posters in this thread have ever been in a position of dispute with their employer, and if they have, did not have the wherewithal to bring union representation to the table. Nor do I expect that they come into work every day seeing their conditions slowly eroded in the name of efficiency or cost savings.

    And please, don't try and claim that I post based on my own greed, if I where greedy I would not work in the sector I work in, (see top left), as a member of professional engineering institutions, you should realize that if I wanted to make money, I would not have taken my qualifications and become an engineer, not in this country.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2014
  30. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    I disagree with the first point about leverage-rail staff, against popular believe, not not strike because they want more pay. Pay deals which lead to these "high salaries" are most definately a 2 way street and the normal pay rise sees the company benefitting from the pay rise as much as, if not more than, the drivers. My last pay rise with my TOC was around 4%. It actually led to most drivers taking home a few hundred less per year due to the conditions sold off to get that 4%-so whilst the press could report that we got a 4% pay rise infact the company did far! far better out of the pay rise than we did.

    I would also argue that train drivers are some of the most productive workers in the country if you take into account that I can drive a rush hour train with around 1200 people on board all paying about 8k a year for their season tickets. And my employer makes a healthy amount from the business so when their profits are going up is it not fair I get a share of it as a worker?

    As for not everyone can be a driver due to the physical requirements, that is the same of most jobs. I'm pretty sure most nurses could become train drivers if they wanted but many, as you say, choose nursing as they want to work in that field. They may get paid more as train drivers but probably don't want to work in such a dead end job with no variety in work, doing the same thing day in day out being stuck on your own most of the day with no other people to interact with etc. ... You don't be come a train driver for the love of the job, you do it for the money to be honest.

    And as for your second point, yes drivers can go into management roles, a driver won't directly lead to general management as most senior management grades are graduate jobs and don't need train driving experience. I don't count driver managers as a direct promotion as it's not really more money and is generally a worse job. My point related to the fact that you can train as a nurse and get some experience and then go for a far better paid job in private healthcare or train in a speciality and become a specialist nurse on good money etc...the same that a police officer may be poorly paid after passing out but over the years they have ample opportunity to move into specialist fields or go in for promotion up the ranks to senior positions. Railway frontline jobs don't have that kind of promotional prospect. Most driver managers go into the job as they don't enjoy driving day to day, not because they want to progress their careers.
     
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