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Rail strikes

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Rail strikes

Old 21st Jun 2022, 17:30
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Rail strikes

A little surprised this doesnít already have a post running.

What are peoples thoughts on the current strikes?

Everyone around the country has faced pay issues over the past few years.

I think pay is the red herring in this dispute. The rail network in this country is from the prewar era. Massive modernisation is needed but the unions refuse, as a consequence modernisation may mean job loses.

I think one benefit is that now that the strike has started the government now has the green light into implement some of these now. Especially in track maintenance. The old saying that you can always tell unionised road workers. One is using a shovel, one is holding a clipboard, and three are sitting down drinking coffee.

I know this could be a contentious issue as pilots are a heavily unionised workforce. But in this issue I am talking more public sector unions.
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 19:22
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I totally agree, they are holding the Country to ransom when a lot of people probably haven’t had a pay ride in years, key infrastructure as with the services should be banned from striking.
I’d sack the bloody lot of them and tell them they can reapply for their jobs with a new contract, if they don’t like it close the door on the way out, they are attempting to protect jobs where automation could have replaced them years ago reducing the price of fares. I’d replace them with Ukrainians, there is a bunch of rail workers who are going through hell to help their fellow countrymen.


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Last edited by NutLoose; 21st Jun 2022 at 20:59.
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 20:07
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The Buffoon in no 10 is getting lots of votes from Joe Public as the rich folk from RMT are ripping off the real working class by going on strike. And getting the Corbynistas, (and Scargill), from Labour on their picket lines.
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 20:30
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Originally Posted by Ancient Observer View Post
The Buffoon in no 10 is getting lots of votes from Joe Public as the rich folk from RMT are ripping off the real working class by going on strike. And getting the Corbynistas, (and Scargill), from Labour on their picket lines.
The laughable issue today was that labour doesnít know what to support. How many of them on TV and the obfuscation over the issue is insane. Asked their opinion and they look awkward and then mention the Tories. Just state a position and live by it.

When the Labour Party canít even openly support your strike you know you are done for.

Itís the Achilles heel of any strike. If you donít have public support you are doomed to failure.
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 20:58
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34 grand as a ticket collector, how much is a nurse on?
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 21:19
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What is this doing on pilots forum pray tell?
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 21:24
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One striker today said he works in the ticket office and makes £30000/per year. Has 4
kids and wife looks after the kids. Says he can no longer afford to support his family so has resorted to riding his bike to work to save fuel.

If you have have 4 kids and make £30000 and feel you are struggling, tell her to get off her arse and get a job!
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 21:32
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Rail unions have been pushing for re-nationalisation for years. With multiple Train Operating Companies they didn't get much out of strike threats.
Now that many of these TOCs have handed back the keys to the govt a strike looks more promising to the unions.

As an advocate of train travel, I'm sad that it's being priced out of the market. People will find other cheaper ways of travelling... or staying at home. Many are already doing so.
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 21:37
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Oh yeah, I like it, when people say "xx profession makes 30,000 a year, just think what a nurse gets". Maybe both professions should be paid more. Or should pilots be paid hairdressers' wages, after all, hairdressers are on their feet all day while pilots just sit on their arse and look out the window?
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 21:44
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I'm a PPL holder who grew up with aspirations to become a commercial pilot, military flying was not possible due to medical reasons. I currently work as a train driver instructor, I teach people how to drive passenger trains in the UK. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was saving towards self-funding modular training to become a commercial pilot.

If I had to pay £100k for my own training, I could never have become a train driver. Thankfully, ASLEF has worked against any such proposal, the bespoke nature of training based on route and traction (train types) knowledge is favourable to ASLEF's cause but without a strong trade union presence, we could have been left with "pay to drive". Train driving is one of the last well-paid working class trades and selection is regardless of parental wealth. Unique market conditions have worked in our favour but strong trade unionism has been a backstop to protect what we have.

ASLEF has also prevented zero-hours contracts, protected pensions and deterred employers from ripping up our contractual terms and conditions. Drivers have sold extra productivity through ASLEF but it is sold for a fair price, not given away or arbitrarily removed. ASLEF are not a particularly militant trade union on the mainline railway, the last time the drivers at my employer went on strike, I was a young child. ASLEF at this time have not announced strike action where I work.

Train driving is a good job but I suspect I'd rather be flying aeroplanes for a living. If BALPA had taken a firm stance against airlines charging £100k for their MPL schemes and airlines charging £30k for a type rating, maybe I'd have had a much improved chance of doing so? I know a lot of trades and professions have seen their ranks take a big hit to terms, salaries and pensions over the past few decades, we're amongst the last of the hold-outs and have no intentions of joining the race to the bottom.
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 21:51
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It is not ASLEF calling strikes CtR - it is RMT.
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 22:04
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Originally Posted by Flyhighfirst View Post
Everyone around the country has faced pay issues over the past few years.
Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
I totally agree, they are holding the Country to ransom when a lot of people probably havenít had a pay ride in years, key infrastructure as with the services should be banned from striking.
​​​​​​Ö
Iíll start with saying that I am not familiar at all with the specifics of the rail disputes that are occurring in the UK - but simply saying that because everyone else hasnít had a pay rise means that unionised workers shouldnít be able to ask for pay rises is completely non sensical.

In a world of rising inflation and low wages growth - why is their such anger at those groups that dare ask for a pay rise?

Nutloose, Article 23 of the UNís charter on human rights allows for people to join trade unions (ie itís a basic human right), and UK law clearly allows those unions to take industrial action under a pretty prescriptive set of circumstances.

Itís interesting that those advocating that workers in industry thatís considered to be a key national infrastructure should not be allowed to strike, yet those same people argue that these pieces of infrastructure should be sold off and run privately. Privatising the profits and socialising the losses comes to mind.

I do not begrudge any worker in the current economic environment to be asking for increased pay.

And comments along the line of Ďsack them all and make them reapply for their jobí and that the answer to a family with 4 kids on a single income is for the Ďmother to get off her arse and find a jobí shows youíve really got no clue just how tough it can be out there.
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 22:11
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Originally Posted by longer ron View Post
It is not ASLEF calling strikes CtR - it is RMT.
ASLEF are walking out for a day on Greater Anglia and a lot of the commentary seems to be aimed at railway staff in general, rather than just the RMT. Sadly, unless the DfT is prepared to change it's stance that Train Operating Coompanies operating under the old franchise system can't negotiate pay and productivity deals, I can see ASLEF becoming involved in the dispute much more dthan they currently are.
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 22:25
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Originally Posted by Colonel_Klink View Post
Iíll start with saying that I am not familiar at all with the specifics of the rail disputes that are occurring in the UK - but simply saying that because everyone else hasnít had a pay rise means that unionised workers shouldnít be able to ask for pay rises is completely non sensical.

In a world of rising inflation and low wages growth - why is their such anger at those groups that dare ask for a pay rise?

Nutloose, Article 23 of the UNís charter on human rights allows for people to join trade unions (ie itís a basic human right), and UK law clearly allows those unions to take industrial action under a pretty prescriptive set of circumstances.

Itís interesting that those advocating that workers in industry thatís considered to be a key national infrastructure should not be allowed to strike, yet those same people argue that these pieces of infrastructure should be sold off and run privately. Privatising the profits and socialising the losses comes to mind.

I do not begrudge any worker in the current economic environment to be asking for increased pay.

And comments along the line of Ďsack them all and make them reapply for their jobí and that the answer to a family with 4 kids on a single income is for the Ďmother to get off her arse and find a jobí shows youíve really got no clue just how tough it can be out there.
If you are saying that you canít afford the bills on you income, which by the way is above average for the specific skill level, and your other half isnít helping out. Then expecting your company to arbitrarily fix it for you is complete nonsense.

We only have 2 kids and we could not live the life we want on one salary. And that is the life we want. If you actually canít manage at all on one salary then suck it up and get to work!
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Old 21st Jun 2022, 22:35
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Originally Posted by Colonel_Klink View Post
Iíll start with saying that I am not familiar at all with the specifics of the rail disputes that are occurring in the UK - but simply saying that because everyone else hasnít had a pay rise means that unionised workers shouldnít be able to ask for pay rises is completely non sensical.

In a world of rising inflation and low wages growth - why is their such anger at those groups that dare ask for a pay rise?

Nutloose, Article 23 of the UNís charter on human rights allows for people to join trade unions (ie itís a basic human right), and UK law clearly allows those unions to take industrial action under a pretty prescriptive set of circumstances.

Itís interesting that those advocating that workers in industry thatís considered to be a key national infrastructure should not be allowed to strike, yet those same people argue that these pieces of infrastructure should be sold off and run privately. Privatising the profits and socialising the losses comes to mind.

I do not begrudge any worker in the current economic environment to be asking for increased pay.

And comments along the line of Ďsack them all and make them reapply for their jobí and that the answer to a family with 4 kids on a single income is for the Ďmother to get off her arse and find a jobí shows youíve really got no clue just how tough it can be out there.

Mainly because for them to get a wage rise means higher fares for everyone else. The UK has one of the worst rail lines in Europe. It is mainly down to the unions refusing to allow for improvement.

If the unions allowed for improvements yes there would be job loses, but the remainder could get pay increases.

The public understands this, hence why this strike is doomed to failure. I would have to agree with the government in this case to stick to it and move forward. The rail system in this country is antiquated due to the unions and job protection.

Edited to add - letís not forget that rising wages directly contributes to rising inflation.
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 02:48
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Originally Posted by fokker1000 View Post
What is this doing on pilots forum pray tell?
Jet Blast is mostly things having nothing to do with aviation, fokker1000.
Jet Blast is exhaust, noise, etc.
Given that you joined PPRuNe in 2004, how do you not know this?

For Chris the Robot: thank you for sharing that perspective.
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 06:31
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Originally Posted by Flyhighfirst View Post
If you are saying that you canít afford the bills on you income, which by the way is above average for the specific skill level, and your other half isnít helping out. Then expecting your company to arbitrarily fix it for you is complete nonsense.

We only have 2 kids and we could not live the life we want on one salary. And that is the life we want. If you actually canít manage at all on one salary then suck it up and get to work!
Circumstances change. Personally I didn't go down the multiple kids route as I like my toys and didn't want to give them up. However, in the case of a family with four kids, maybe they could afford it once, maybe the cost of living has risen faster than wages, maybe they had twins when only one was expected? Who knows? One of the things the usual JB suspects (and Daily Heil readers) often go on about is the decline in social behaviour, latchkey kids out of control because there's no parent at home when they get in from school. You can't have it both ways.
You think £30k is a good wage? Take the tax and NI out of that and there's not much left.
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 06:47
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The RMT has all sorts of practices that are based on steam trains. We have the same in France. The early retirement (on a very good pension) is because one has to breath coal dust while shoveling and the smoke. Items like pay adjustments because you have to walk from a restroom to you 'place' of work.
Couple of years ago it came out that a French railway worker had been on leave for 4 yrs, on full pay, because they couldn't find a job at his level. So he just stayed home. The good conditions don't stop them striking, usually as a first move, rather than after negotiation.
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 06:57
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Originally Posted by Flyhighfirst View Post
One striker today said he works in the ticket office and makes £30000/per year. Has 4
kids and wife looks after the kids. Says he can no longer afford to support his family so has resorted to riding his bike to work to save fuel.

If you have have 4 kids and make £30000 and feel you are struggling, tell her to get off her arse and get a job!
That posting just goes to show just how out of touch some people clearly are with the cost of living and cost of childcare in UK - the UK, probably due in no small part to far too much bureaucracy and red tape - has among the very highest costs for childcare globally.

£30k will probably result in a net figure of £24k, a convenient £2k per month. If you've got four kids then the minimum number of bedrooms required in your home is three, away from the lunacy that is London to rent privately such a home is going to cost somewhere in the region of £900 per month, heat and light around £250 per month, food probably £200 per month and council tax around £150 per month. That lot comes to £1500 per month and that is before water, communications, insurances, transport costs, and clothing, including school uniforms. £30k gross barely gets a family to break even.

So, to his wife getting off her arse and finding a job. That will probably require childcare, either at nursery for the littler ones, or before and after school clubs for the older ones. Teens might be trusted to look after themselves. My daughter, who is just changing jobs to an office environment and to work full time has got to find £1,000 up front for nursery and pre/after school clubs and that will equate to a big chunk of her new salary, and she has a small brood of just two kids. Working part time simply doesn't pay, working full time is marginal, but she will come out ahead.

Things weren't so tough when we were young, and in my parents day they could like reasonably comfortably one one (good) salary. You really need to wake up and see how the real world is for people in the workforce today.

On the subject of the thread itself, to offer 2 or 3 percent with inflation of 9% plus is nonsense, and unrealistic. Equally unrealistic are the stupid practices that the RMT, ASLEF and I suspect TASSA all cling to in the 21st century. Neither side is blameless, and the hand of government politicising the dispute is clear to see. However thankfully, since the strikes are really a London and Southeast issue we are less affected living in an area where we aren't so rail dependent.
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 07:01
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