Wednesday, 5 August 2015

London Underground strike. Do both sides think we are all IDIOTS

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), Aslef, Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) and Unite have been in dispute with London Underground over pay being offered for the new service, due to start at weekends from mid-September.

"Aslef members voted by over 97 per cent on a turnout of more than 81pc to take strike action to protect their work-life balance and working conditions. Money has never been the key issue in this dispute - ensuring that change is negotiated rather than imposed and introduced in a fair way has.
"Attempts to brand it as political and using tired cliched attacks on trade unions are simply an effort to distract attention from London Underground's inept handling of negotiations.
"We will be ready to return to the negotiating table on Friday morning to ensure that further action can be avoided.
Our action is in response to the impact of a £4.2bn cuts programme imposed by the Government and Mayor of London. All four Unions are united with members voting overwhelmingly for strike action,with 90% plus yes votes and turnouts of over 50% (markedly better than the Tory Governments24% share of the eligible voters in the General Election).

The strike is in opposition to LU demands that we accept additional night working and working at weekends. They have made this a condition of any pay rise in pay at all for the next two years. RMT members on London Underground(LU) already work 7day/24 hour shift patterns. All we are asking is for a fair increase in pay that recognises the record number of passengers using the Tube and the massive productivity gains we’ve already delivered. The two year pay deal,would in fact be a below inflation deal, in real terms a pay cut. The 0.75% pay offer would increase wages by between £225 per year for the lowest paid and £450 per year for the highest paid, (*1) compare this to the £7,000 per year that has been accepted by MPs.

We do not oppose night running on the Tube but we insist that enough staff are employed so that the burden of Fri/Sat nights working does not fall on those already working unsociable hours. The proposed CSA roster for South Kensington gives staff one long weekend off in every 27weeks.We have a separate but associated dispute over specific plans for LU stations. LU is cutting 850 jobs leaving many stations dangerously under-staffed. LU is lying to the public by claiming there will be more staff in ticket halls to help passengers. This is plainly untrue. Ticket office staff are not coming out from behind glass. The jobs in ticket offices have been cut and passenger...

Our members will be expected to work anywhere on a line with just 24 hours notice of their duties.  (*2) This will make it impossible to plan a life outside of work. At a day’s notice we could be told our duty has moved and that we will need to leave for work at 2am or 3am in the morning to catch a staff taxi.None of the huge increase in travelling time will be in paidtime. LU wants to be able to take staff from one under-staffed station to plug gaps in another rather than employ enough …

I have added nothing to this RMT missive on their website. There are just two observations.

*1 Why has the RMT Union politicised this works dispute by deliberately conflicting it to MPs pay?

*2 Since when has any body the right to demand a style of life which only a mythical god or the head of a family can arrange?

With the above we must also take the statement made on BBC 5 Morning Live that working different duties would impact with a 5 year deterioration in the workers life expectancy?
alcohol per week?

If we were to carry the RMT spokespersons logic through to a conclusion, and accept that the major problem they have is the welfare of their membership, can we expect that ALL RMT members would have to stop smoking immediately and ALL members would be restricted to 21 units of alcohol per week?