Friday, 12 June 2009

Ground To A Halt

For the last two days, London's transport system was held to ransom. A fanatical and blinkered leader led his equally fanatical and misguided followers into action which caused disruption to thousands and cost potentially over a £100 million in lost revenue. These are the sort of actions that are normally branded acts of terrorism and could occasionally lead to said organisation being hunted down by an international task force. However, these acts were perfectly legal and not once was the word "terrorist" bandied about. I'm talking, of course, about the 48 hour strike called by Bob Crowe of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union which halted London's Underground system.

Now, you may be thinking that I'm being a bit heavy handed but, for some time now, Londoners have been subject to the whims of this man and his union and, quite frankly, the limit has been reached. In the past, they've claimed to strike over safety concerns and that seems like a reasonable reason; reasonable until you notice the fact that there's also a demand for a pay rise tacked on there, too. Their demand this time? A 5% annual pay rise and a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies. Seriously? In a global recession when other people are having their pay frozen or cut or, even worse, removed altogether along with their job? What on Earth makes people who sit in a box all day pushing a lever (and already receive a starting salary of £37,000 along with 8 weeks paid leave) deserve to be paid more than people who are teachers or nurses? What garners them special consideration that they need these assurances?

Quite simply, it's bullying and thuggish behaviour that borders on terrorism. Think I'm being a bit too strong? Let's have a look at the dictionary definition:- "terrorism. n. - the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes." Well, I'd say that crippling a capital city's transport system in order to secure more money for yourself counts as "threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes".

So, well done, Bob Crowe. In the midst of a struggling economy, you've generated unprecedented amounts of hatred and bile towards your union members while destroying any last vestiges of sympathy that the public may have for them. Good work, sir, good work.

6 comments:

The Masked Philosopher said...

Unions and their leaders are exhibiting the same lack of comprehension here across the pond as well...
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/06/brain-dead-union-leaders.html

Out of curiosity, when there is a strike of this sort do people work from home, drive, carpool or some combination?

Belle said...

Complete and utter arsehole.

Anna Russell said...

Usually, I'm on the side of the strikers. But a STARTING salary of 37 grand? Even in London, that's a pretty good wage. I'd have more sympathy for them if they knew what it was like to be as skint as me.

J-Diggety said...

LAME! Word, Belle, word...

kapgaf said...

The only information I could find on salaries in London Transport (http://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/London-Underground-Salaries-E36810.htm) was for a Site Engineer (24-26K) and for a Train Operations Manager (29-31K) which is not the same as 37K, so what job was the 37K a starting salary?
I'm not going to comment about unions (take too long) but I will say that I'm getting sick and tired of tightening my belt because speculators lost their money - if I decided to bet all my money on a hand of cards and lost it all, the government certainly wouldn't bail me out!
Even if the government needs me to spend more in order to reboot the economy, I can't spend money I haven't got.

That Baldy Fella said...

Masked Philosopher - Well, depends on the company you work for, really. The trains and buses were still running but were obivously crammed due to the lack of the Tube. My office did let some people log on from home but encouraged everyone that could make it in to try.

Belle - ...is the cotrrect answer.

The Russell - Hmm, I can;t find the article where I saw that figure - it looks like it might be nearer £30,000 but still...

Jess - Yep, it certainly is.

kapgaf - Yeah, as I said to Anna, I can't find that figure again - all I can find is this from BBC News last year when a strike was proposed:- "Staff threatening to strike include track workers, train maintainers and signallers who earn between £30,700 and £50,300."