So the @rmtunion had their strike today. The sentiment among most of the people I’ve queried is that while they “have the right to strike” (a distinctly European thing) they are a bunch of spoiled people who wouldn’t know a good thing if it jumped out and bit them.
I’m of the same opinion.
Many of the staff get 27 basic holidays (more than five weeks) and because they work weekends and some holidays they get extras to make up for that, to the point where they can have more than FIFTY. The average salary in the UK is £23k, whereas most RMT folk make double that and more.
The strike was in response to the night shift starting on the tube to allow for a 24-hour service on some lines – you know, like every other major metropolitan global city. (It’s worth noting that London is one of only two Alpha++ designated cities but doesn’t have round-the-clock subway service.)
I can understand that this will impact people’s lives in terms of scheduling, but like the rest of us (and moreso like doctors, nurses, firefighters, police, etc. who do shift work) you plan your work/life balance. To say that you need to strike because somehow shift work will greatly affect your work/life balance either means you are incapable of managing your affairs as an adult should, or that you are being childish for its own sake, or possibly both.
The most interesting thing is that throughout all of this, no one will be forced to work more hours than they already are. Additionally, they will be getting paid bonuses on top of their regular salary.
Or they would, if the union leaders would actually present the plan to the rank-and-file, which they haven’t, and supposedly won’t.
As it stands, a lot of tube workers are being phased out. Ticket halls are closing, and trains are going driverless. (The Docklands Light Railway (DLR) is already driverless now.)
This strike only further demonstrates just how useless the RMT folk really are.
London did not grind to a halt. The British, as we do, kept a stiff upper lip and did what we had to do to get around and that was that. There will be tube tomorrow, and no one will have anymore love for RMT than they did yesterday, but they’ll have less if they had any at all.
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Personally, I had to go to Newbury today, so I took a two hour cab ride to Paddington, and then took the Heathrow Express to Heathrow where I met my colleague. We drove to Newbury for our meeting, arriving an hour late. The folks we were meeting understood, and we profusely apologised anyway. On the way home, my colleague drove me to Egham and I took the train to Waterloo, and then I took the Thames Clipper back here to Canary Wharf.
Did I travel seven hours for a one-and-a-half hour meeting? Yes, yes I did. Did it really matter in the long run? No, no it did not. It was an inconvenience, sure, but I got to see a lot of new things (such as Windsor Castle!) and took a nice slow boat ride home in the evening. (I’ve been on the Clipper before, but not in a while.) It forced me to break a routine, and that in itself had value.
If I’m adding value when the RMT folks strike, then that’s just another point against them. I wouldn’t want to do it every day, but the diversion from the normal was quite nice.