Tube Strikes

Friday 30th December, 2005
Here in London, a potential Tube strike on New Years Eve is big news.

Each New Year, hundreds of thousands of people descend upon the city for fun, partying and frolics. This is aided greatly by the London Underground (LU) system which is usually free of charge to avoid congestion at ticket barriers etc. This year, thousands of workers are threatening a 24hr strike starting at noon on Saturday.

Amazing co-incidence this. They're complaining about new rotas and shifts and don't want to go into work on the biggest night of the year...hmmm. Of course, for many, New Year Eve means good overtime. Pubs/bars pay double sometimes triple time to encourage people to work. Are the LU staff really not going to go to work and pass up that overtime that they undoubtedly will need when their Christmas credit card bill arrives?

Let me negotiate here, it's quite simple. You tell the unions to shove their negotiations up their ass. If they don't turn up to work on New Year's Eve, everyone's going to hate them. They'll get zero respect from the British public (people travel far and wide for this night in town) and they'll just weaken their position. Operating the tube for free on this night costs the operators a fortune anyway so not running it will actually help them out, save them money AND give them someone to blame. A strike simply will not work.

On top of that, there are a lot of people...and I mean a lot...who earn much less that LU staff. They also have to work shitty shifts and through public holidays and don't have big bullying trade unions to help them earn a small fortune. Last time I heard, a train driver on the underground earns around £35,000...not bad at all. They don't even need to live in town as they get free transport!

Incidentally, I think 'striking' staff should be forced to come to work but not do anything. By simply not attending it's just one big skive as far as I'm concerned...especially on New Year's Eve.

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