Tube staff plan five days of strikes

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Robertj21a

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So basically you are anti-union regardless of what they are fighting for!
Not at all, please re-read what I wrote.

The emphasis has to be on 'certain' unions - the RMT being one of the better examples in recent years. I am fully supportive of Unions but some seem to believe that they need to fight and punch their way past the ordinary decent working men and women of this country - much like school bullies thrive by intimidation.

Robert
 
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Tetchytyke

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I am fully supportive of Unions but some seem to believe that they need to fight and punch their way past the ordinary decent working men and women of this country - much like school bullies thrive by intimidation.
"I am fully supportive of Unions just as long as they are meek and mild and know their place."

We can't have Unions standing up for their members now, can we. Sacking a thousand people is A-OK, but going on strike to object is bullying :lol:
 
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A-driver

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Not at all, please re-read what I wrote.



The emphasis has to be on 'certain' unions - the RMT being one of the better examples in recent years. I am fully supportive of Unions but some seem to believe that they need to fight and punch their way past the ordinary decent working men and women of this country - much like school bullies thrive by intimidation.



Robert

Could you please explain how standing up against job losses is fighting a punch above the ordinary decent working man?

I know that in your blinkered view TfLs statement that there won't be compulsory redundancies means that everything is ok but the job cuts will lead to hardship for the unions members. The choice of redundancy or taking a new job at a fraction of the current wage makes volunteering for redundancy the lesser of 2 evils for many but is still not acceptable to the workers who will no longer be able to afford their mortgage or rent or to feed their families. Standing up for that isn't bullying or intimidation.

And as for getting more than the 'decent' worker (whatever that means...) so what if tube staff get better pay and conditions than other workers...why shouldn't they continue to improve their lives? It's what everyone at the top of businesses do. You wouldn't see a board meeting where the directors pat themselves on the back for being richer than others and decide to stop trying to make even more as 'others have less'.

It's plain jealousy. People need to spend more time trying to improve their own lines and less time bitterly criticising others who have more.
 

radamfi

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the workers who will no longer be able to afford their mortgage or rent or to feed their families.
I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. I notice you still quote 15K despite being reminded that the real figure is 22K. Obviously you can't live like a train driver on 22K but that is still well above the London Living Wage. They won't go hungry or become homeless. If they weren't previously on 29K it would look like a reasonable salary for a job that doesn't require much in the way of academic qualifications.
 

LowLevel

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All well and good unless you're living based on the fact you thought you had a secure job earning £29k or whatever it was - defaulting on a mortgage and so on are great fun and not at all life affecting - even if there's no wage cut you can guarantee there won't even be an inflationary wage increase until the new cut price grade catches up in 10 or 15 years or so :roll:

But they should go quietly and shouldn't be bothered about this as after all, it's for the greater good, somehow. NB - pay freezes do not apply to executives or MPs - you have to attract 'talent' to mess up the next load of projects, this seems to happen both in the public and private sector.
 

radamfi

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All well and good unless you're living based on the fact you thought you had a secure job earning £29k or whatever it was - defaulting on a mortgage and so on are great fun and not at all life affecting - even if there's no wage cut you can guarantee there won't even be an inflationary wage increase until the new cut price grade catches up in 10 or 15 years or so :roll:

But they should go quietly and shouldn't be bothered about this as after all, it's for the greater good, somehow. NB - pay freezes do not apply to executives or MPs - you have to attract 'talent' to mess up the next load of projects, this seems to happen both in the public and private sector.
I think you are asking for trouble if you extend yourself to the limit. I believe you should save a fair amount of your income in case you need money to fall back on if you lose your job.

I think the argument that employees are entitled to fight for their jobs has been won. However, it has been pointed out that they are not looking for sympathy, so it makes no sense to talk about people not affording rent or food.
 

Tetchytyke

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I think you are asking for trouble if you extend yourself to the limit. I believe you should save a fair amount of your income in case you need money to fall back on if you lose your job.
You have a choice in London?

I earn more than these people and I'm extended to the limit.

But I think A-Driver was referring to the 960 people who will be out of a job.

The statutory redundancy payment is about one week's pay, depending on your age, for every year you have been employed in the job.

Now I fully expect TfL will be offering enhanced redundancy payments, not the statutory minimum. But even if they double or treble the statutory minimum we're not talking about huge cash lump sums, these payments will not allow someone to live without work for more than a couple of months.
 

Deerfold

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I think you are asking for trouble if you extend yourself to the limit. I believe you should save a fair amount of your income in case you need money to fall back on if you lose your job.
In an ideal world that's true.

However in a world of increasing prices for food, rent, mortgages and fuel and wage freezes (and cuts) that's increasingly difficult for many people.
 

SF-02

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Many staff members with children will see the state pay more in tax credit benefits and housing benefits to make up what they lose, so gov finances are no better off.
 

radamfi

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You have a choice in London?

I earn more than these people and I'm extended to the limit.

But I think A-Driver was referring to the 960 people who will be out of a job.
Of course there is a choice. Millions of Londoners earn much less than 22K so it must be possible to live on that kind of money. You don't have even have to live in London, but for many it is worth paying the higher cost of living in the capital because of the greater opportunities. That's why so many people from the north of England or eastern Europe move there.

If most people are honest, they have some kind of cash draining activity that they could do without. Unemployment is always a possibility for anyone living in a capitalist country so it is essential to plan for it.

If people really can't live on the redundancy money until they find a new job, which is debatable anyway, then the worst case scenario is to take the 22K job a long way from their existing job. Being forced to relocate is not uncommon these days, and I've had to do it myself, but for tube workers it is not as bad as for most people as they have free tube travel.
 

Greenback

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Of course there is a choice. Millions of Londoners earn much less than 22K so it must be possible to live on that kind of money. You don't have even have to live in London, but for many it is worth paying the higher cost of living in the capital because of the greater opportunities. That's why so many people from the north of England or eastern Europe move there.
You are missing the point that we are not talking about people who entering the job market and know that they will have 22k a year. These are employees who have been earning 30% more than that, and like it or not, will have commitments based on that amount of money coming in.

As has been said, in the real world it's a struggle to cope with rising prices, and to be expected to take a 25% pay cut will be the final straw for some.

If most people are honest, they have some kind of cash draining activity that they could do without. Unemployment is always a possibility for anyone living in a capitalist country so it is essential to plan for it.
Statements like this sound as though they are based more on theory than reality. While, ideally, everyone would be able to save sufficient money to live without any income at all for maybe two years, that's difficult if not impossible for the majority of people on this sort of money.

And no, not everyone is frittering away a lot of money every week on gambling, cigarettes and alcohol!

But as for a decent holiday, a car, new clothes once in a while, well, these can all be done away with can't they? The trouble is, once you have been in a job and become used to that, it's even more difficult not to have them. If it were me, I'd be asking what's the point of working hard when I can't enjoy much of the benefit of hard work?

If people really can't live on the redundancy money until they find a new job, which is debatable anyway, then the worst case scenario is to take the 22K job a long way from their existing job. Being forced to relocate is not uncommon these days, and I've had to do it myself, but for tube workers it is not as bad as for most people as they have free tube travel.
Just out of interest, when you were forced to relocated did it lead to an increase in travel time of perhaps an hour each way, plus a big cut in salary? Did you resent it or did you just think it was fair enough?
 

A-driver

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It's irrelevant what people can and can't live off of. The bottom line here is that TfL are pushing through these changes which will lead to lifestyle changes to workers in one form or another.

Weather they can live off the lower job in your opinion is of little relevance. The fact is that TfL are cutting jobs and reducing the wage of some remaining staff. That is not going to be acceptable to a trade union who are employed to protect the workers they represent.

No one is looking for sympathy here, no one on the picket lines want anyone's sympathy, they just want to show their protest to the job cuts and lack of progress in talks with their employers.
 

radamfi

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You are missing the point that we are not talking about people who entering the job market and know that they will have 22k a year. These are employees who have been earning 30% more than that, and like it or not, will have commitments based on that amount of money coming in.
But most of these people will have enjoyed above inflation pay rises in the past, in some cases over many years. So they could, if they wanted to, have continued to live a modest standard of living and saved the salary increase. No one can ever assume that they will earn the same amount of money for the rest of their working life. That, IMO, is recklessly complacent, especially if they have dependants. Having said that, most people do seem to find a new job soon after becoming unemployed, so most people get away with it.

But as for a decent holiday, a car, new clothes once in a while, well, these can all be done away with can't they? The trouble is, once you have been in a job and become used to that, it's even more difficult not to have them. If it were me, I'd be asking what's the point of working hard when I can't enjoy much of the benefit of hard work?
That is a cultural problem in Anglo-Saxon countries, and a relatively recent phenomenon at that. In past generations, thrift and shopping around was the standard and old people sometimes complain that young people today just don't appreciate the value of money.

You don't HAVE to have an iPhone, or a new car, or Starbucks coffee.

Spending all your money and getting into debt to fund a consumer lifestyle is still frowned upon in other rich countries, such as Germany. We used to criticise them for this in the boom years but now they are reaping the rewards of their prudence.

When people retire, or have to downsize for whatever reason, some people then realise that buying all that stuff in the past didn't make them happy and they can manage perfectly fine on less.

Just out of interest, when you were forced to relocated did it lead to an increase in travel time of perhaps an hour each way, plus a big cut in salary? Did you resent it or did you just think it was fair enough?
I was relocated about 40 miles from my old site, although I didn't get a pay cut. Others in the company were worse off, say having to move from Birmingham to Manchester. Obviously I was unhappy about it, but my industry was in steep decline and so I considered myself lucky to still be in a job. That was 5 years ago, though, and now the economy is growing again, we are recruiting heavily and getting reasonable pay rises.
 

londonbridge

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Given that a) First Capital Connect is a NATIONAL RAIL service and National Rail were not on strike and b) the strike was due to end at 21.00, someone please explain why last night, having been to the Barbican, I walked back to Farringdon and arrived at 22.30 only to find it closed and Thameslink/FCC trains not stopping there, and a big crowd arguing as to why we could not get an FCC train? After ten minutes or so of arguing, I gave up and got a bus back to London Bridge in order to get the FCC home from there.
 

radamfi

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Given that a) First Capital Connect is a NATIONAL RAIL service and National Rail were not on strike and b) the strike was due to end at 21.00, someone please explain why last night, having been to the Barbican, I walked back to Farringdon and arrived at 22.30 only to find it closed and Thameslink/FCC trains not stopping there, and a big crowd arguing as to why we could not get an FCC train? After ten minutes or so of arguing, I gave up and got a bus back to London Bridge in order to get the FCC home from there.
Farringdon is managed by LU, presumably that is why it was affected by the strike.
 

A-driver

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Given that a) First Capital Connect is a NATIONAL RAIL service and National Rail were not on strike and b) the strike was due to end at 21.00, someone please explain why last night, having been to the Barbican, I walked back to Farringdon and arrived at 22.30 only to find it closed and Thameslink/FCC trains not stopping there, and a big crowd arguing as to why we could not get an FCC train? After ten minutes or so of arguing, I gave up and got a bus back to London Bridge in order to get the FCC home from there.

Farringdon is a tube station, as are 3 of the 5 NCL stations and FCC only stop trains at the platforms there. FCC staff are not allowed to open the stations and if the tube staff are not there to open and manage the stations then FCC staff will be kicked out and their trains will be unable to stop there. It's basically TfL property so if they can't staff it then the entire station will close. The stations have nothing whatsoever to do with FCC or national rail.

As for still being closed after the strike, many stations and tube lines still were as they had to get staff in after the strike had finished.
 

chris11256

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It's a similar thing to West Ham, Although Historically the LTS railway built it LU have owned it for many years!

I'm not complaining, my train not stopping there made my journey to Fenchurch Street a few minutes faster :)
 

radamfi

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What will happen when Crossrail opens? Farringdon is not a particularly important station at the moment but when Crossrail opens it will become hugely important as it is where Crossrail and Thameslink intersect. The National Rail station has a separate entrance now and it looks like you can access all parts of the FCC part of the station without accessing the LU side so you would have thought that it could now be treated like a major terminal like Victoria or Waterloo.
 

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In an ideal world that's true.

However in a world of increasing prices for food, rent, mortgages and fuel and wage freezes (and cuts) that's increasingly difficult for many people.
This is very true. But let's not also forget that staff on the tube have got themselves pay rises all during these past few years and at many times above the rate of inflation too.

So for those that never got such things and did indeed have to suffer wage freezes to save their job and the roof over their head will look on that sort of arguement as a ****take.



Also worth noting that there was a lot more of the tube working the second day of the strike albeit at a random timetable.
 

Greenback

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But most of these people will have enjoyed above inflation pay rises in the past, in some cases over many years. So they could, if they wanted to, have continued to live a modest standard of living and saved the salary increase. No one can ever assume that they will earn the same amount of money for the rest of their working life. That, IMO, is recklessly complacent, especially if they have dependants. Having said that, most people do seem to find a new job soon after becoming unemployed, so most people get away with it.
While I agree that people should not expect to earn the same amount of money for the rest of their life, it is both human nature and a recent expectation within society that in general standards of living along with income will increase as a rule as one gets older.

In aidditon, as many people get older they do make provision for dependents and relatives in case of sudden death or injury, but as far as I know there is little on offer to protect against redundancy. The only realistic things that cna be done is to have a savings pot to0 bolster whatever redundancy pay you can get, but figures have shown that this will only last a certain time on average. This may well be sufficient for some, but others will run out of money, fall behind on their rent or mrotgage, and struggle to pay other bills. It all depends on variosu factors.

I think it's strecthing it a bit to say most people find a job soon after redundancy. In my case it took over a year and some of my former colleagues took longer to get even a part time job. I would assume, however, that there are more jobs available in London than Llanelli and Swansea!

That is a cultural problem in Anglo-Saxon countries, and a relatively recent phenomenon at that. In past generations, thrift and shopping around was the standard and old people sometimes complain that young people today just don't appreciate the value of money.
I'm not going to disagree with that! I've always been frugal myself, but then I remember the 1970's with its power cuts, food shortages and rampant inflation, so I've always seen the benefits of saving money wherever I can. The availability of easy credit has not helped in this respect, nor has the barrage of adverts for the latest consumer goods that we are subjected to every day.

To digress a little, since WWII the culture in the UK has bene that when you are young you might struggle to get by a bit, you might have to live with the in laws for a while but as you progress you wille arn more and gradually be more comfortable financially. This all came form a time when there was full employment, and many people wanted and found a job for life with progressively more pay, possibly promotions along the way, and the promise of security and being able to leave a decent inheritance for the offspring at the end of it.

Nowadays, such expectations are unrealistic. There are hardly any jobs for life any more. Young people will be saddled with debt immediately on finishing their education, can't afford to buy a house, and face all sorts of uncertanties about the future. In this respect, I accept that younger generations, and those of any age who are out of work, will see the LU workers as being fantastically well off in comparison.

But I still understand why action is being taken and even if those on strike don't wnat my sympathy, they have it anyway!

You don't HAVE to have an iPhone, or a new car, or Starbucks coffee.
Agreed. I don't make use of any of those. But the bigger point, as economists know, is that if large numbers of people stop buying such things and save their money instead, the economy goes into decline. Hence the boom from the 1990's to 2007, which was built on consumer spending and credit.

Finding the right balance is extremely difficult.

When people retire, or have to downsize for whatever reason, some people then realise that buying all that stuff in the past didn't make them happy and they can manage perfectly fine on less.
Retirement is mostly planned, and nowadays people cna make a decision as to whether to retire or not. The only options the tube workers get will be redundancy or tot ake whatever job happens to be available. The dispute, as far as I cna tell, is about trying to compromise on both the number of posts that will be taken out of LU, and to improve the terms of those who are displaced.

Who knows, some of those who end up earning a lot more may realise that the extra money didn't buy them happiness, but I can imagine that the majority will, at this point, be far more concerned about losing their home or being unable to pay off their current debts.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of a consumer lifestyle, that is the position many LU employees will find themselves in. And, to an degree, it's what the governments wanted people to do, buy their way to a booming economy - so it's no wonder there is a feeling of betrayal, and that is not confined to this particular group of workers either. I felt betrayed that that ****less lending by the banks and ****less borrowing by consumers led to a crash that cost me a very well paid job, even though I did not have any debts and a mortgage that I could easily afford on my former salary.

I was relocated about 40 miles from my old site, although I didn't get a pay cut. Others in the company were worse off, say having to move from Birmingham to Manchester. Obviously I was unhappy about it, but my industry was in steep decline and so I considered myself lucky to still be in a job. That was 5 years ago, though, and now the economy is growing again, we are recruiting heavily and getting reasonable pay rises.
You've hit on part of the problem there. LU isn't in steep decline at all, more and more passengers are using the system, and there is still a demand for ticket offices in the central zone.

Many on the staff side see this as a political decision, with ramifications for operational safety, as well as being a huge concern for the individuals that will be affected. It's made worse by what is seen as a betrayal by the mayor who promised not to close any ticket offices in order to help get himself elected.

In regard to your own situation, I'm pleased you didn't have to take a pay cut, but do you think you would have felt differently if you had lost 25% of your pay at the same time as being forced to relocate? I expect it depends on other cirucmstances as well, as you mentioned ease and cost of transport, journey time, the age of any children, housing costs in the new location and so on, but I'm interested in knowing, if you don't mind.

For myself, making such a move would have been a lot more difficult with such a big reduction in pay. I would have felt that an additional hour of travel time each way would have a huge negative impact on my family life, even if I did not have to pay for the travel itself.

Moving home would have been out of the question because of my partners job and our caring responsibilities, and I'm sure the same would be true for others, especially those who don't want to disrupt their children's education by them changing schools at a crucial time.

Many, many factors combine to each individual's circumstances, but in reality it's not so easy for a lot of people to just roll over and take it on the chin. I slaute the tube employees for putting up a fight, even though I think it may be ultimately futile,
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
So for those that never got such things and did indeed have to suffer wage freezes to save their job and the roof over their head will look on that sort of arguement as a ****take.
Maybe so, but that point of view smacks of selfishness and the attitude that everyone else should suffe rif I do. It's not a viewpoint that I can agree with, but I agree that it's one that plenty of others hold. Even though I was a bit annoyed to lose my job following the crash, it doesn't mean I want everyone else to suffer the same sort of thing. Good luck to those who fight to maintain their conditions, pay and jobs!
 

Tetchytyke

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The current 3yr pay deal, which expired this April, was CPi rate +0.5%.
..and the Consumer Prices Index is typically about 1% below the Retail Prices Index, which is the more realistic of the two indices.

Public transport inflation is usually RPI+1%, it was in London this year.

London rental prices are rising by around 8-10% a year.

As the Tories are so quick to tell us, the economy is booming. It's pretty much back to the 2008 peak. So why all this talk of "needing to cut to save jobs"? London Underground is not a contracting or failing business.
 

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Clip

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Maybe so, but that point of view smacks of selfishness and the attitude that everyone else should suffe rif I do. It's not a viewpoint that I can agree with, but I agree that it's one that plenty of others hold. Even though I was a bit annoyed to lose my job following the crash, it doesn't mean I want everyone else to suffer the same sort of thing. Good luck to those who fight to maintain their conditions, pay and jobs!
That it may be but unfortunatly that's life. Passenger perception is very different from the views of those on here and no amount of meaningless polls will change that. I know, they talk to me(well I say talk, but shout may have been a better description after the last few days).

The current 3yr pay deal, which expired this April, was CPi rate +0.5%.
So as I said - above.


Ive got nothing against them fighting for their jobs but I think they are onto a loser on this one - ticket office changes and closures have been on the horizon ever since Oyster was introduced, if people really could not see that coming then theres not a lot we can do about that now. I do believe TfL are going to dig in for this and I doubt that there will be many going out next week for the planned 3 days either.
 

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That it may be but unfortunatly that's life. Passenger perception is very different from the views of those on here and no amount of meaningless polls will change that. I know, they talk to me(well I say talk, but shout may have been a better description after the last few days).
I can see that, but I'm not going to change my opinion. I do recognise that passengers who ar einconvenieced will have a different perspective, and I also realise that I am not being inconvenienced at all, so I am more likely not to have a negative view on the strike as a result.

Despite that, my opinion still stands!

Ive got nothing against them fighting for their jobs but I think they are onto a loser on this one - ticket office changes and closures have been on the horizon ever since Oyster was introduced, if people really could not see that coming then theres not a lot we can do about that now. I do believe TfL are going to dig in for this and I doubt that there will be many going out next week for the planned 3 days either.
I agree. Sadly, employees will be unwilling to lose three days in one go, and I can't see TfL backing down either. They will rely on dwindling support from those taking action, and the loss of money plus a lack of passenger support will weigh against the staff at some point, leading to it all fizzling out.
 

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I do believe TfL are going to dig in for this and I doubt that there will be many going out next week for the planned 3 days either.
Sadly you're right. The longer the dispute goes on, the fewer members will be out supporting it. I've seen it with my own trade union in our pay dispute, the members haven't wanted to take the strike further so the employers have got away with another offensive wage settlement (and have weakened the union to boot).

Management can wait strikes out, it's happened a lot. The Overground guards' dispute didn't go far either.
 

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Sadly you're right. The longer the dispute goes on, the fewer members will be out supporting it. I've seen it with my own trade union in our pay dispute, the members haven't wanted to take the strike further so the employers have got away with another offensive wage settlement (and have weakened the union to boot).

Management can wait strikes out, it's happened a lot. The Overground guards' dispute didn't go far either.
Any canny thinking union man wouldnt have gone for the 5 days thing, not in the same month. More effective, in my view, if they kept doing the 48 hours like they just done, rile up the passengers more than enough to probably prod TfL into some concessions for a while rather than the prospect of losing 5 days pay, in the month.
 

Tetchytyke

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My union experimented with short stoppages of two hours. I'm not sure if that would have worked with TfL, but I do wonder if shorter but more frequent stoppages would have helped.

I suppose the five days is a calculated gamble that TfL will allow the first one to happen but not the second, which is how it went in February. But without the members staying strong- and judging by services run, they didn't- it could well backfire on the RMT.
 

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Id say with the tube that lots of short ones is better with regards to travel as it really does annoy people into action but as you say with more services running on the second day - couldnt believe central line was fully functional!! - it may well backfire on the RMT and that will be bad for whoever is jostling for the top job
 
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