Having walked into my temping job today, (it took about one hour and was extremely pleasant, much nicer than getting the tube) I really don't see one day of mild inconvenience a problem. The main issue with Industrial Action is the fact that the general public only hear "tube strikes, over paid idiots revolt", it's never the actual facts of why or what?! The other issue is the divide between public and private sector, my generation (especially) do not understand the merits of Unions and Industrial Action, one comment I heard this morning was in regards to HSBC laying off employees and complaining that none of those employees are striking, well if they had the support of a Union, maybe they could or would, but does striking ever work?!
My observation and experience of striking is that those who strike never get what they want, the bosses make empty promises and then walk away. Look at the Scottish referendum as an example of how it should work, and yet Parliament are still trying to stiff the Scots by backing out of their wild and desperate attempts to woo the people into staying in Britain. Luckily they were caught on camera making maddening promises and therefore have been shamed by the press into keeping most of them. But the Union talks aren't filmed and the promises are half arsed and intended to bend the wills of the people at the bottom of the chain, once the Industrial Action is over, the bosses walk away washing their hands of the promises and chuckling to themselves about what idiots the little people are...
The previous LU strikes last year in regards to the ticket office closures and redundancies did nothing, a skeleton service was run, TFL and LU promised to revise the plans and low and behold in every station we now witness ticket offices being closed, the walls being tiled and the machines offering customer service to the general public in need. And I still support those strikers and worry for the stations on the outskirts of London where the machines are often broken and the staff are over worked and unable to offer alternatives to abandoned commuters.
Being told that you have to work nights, weekends, drop your personal plans at 24 hours notice to service the general public all for a pay increase of 0.75% isn't fair and yes, I am aware that the private sector may have these rules also and they've no choice but to abide, but this is why Unions exist. You may not agree with them, you may not understand them, but they offer support, assistance and care to the members and the members families and will continue to do so.
This morning, I thanked the strikers outside Stockwell station for supplying a daily service which most people take for granted. You may not agree with striking and maybe it doesn't get the outcome the Unions want but what it does do is highlight how much for granted we take certain services and individuals, it highlights the fact that numerous businesses make promises on behalf of their staff and then expect the staff to adhere and roll over.
Today we all got to see parts of London we wouldn't normally see. We got to find out that London really isn't that big and you can walk across it quite easily. I got to see Buckingham Palace, a guy riding his kid's scooter, two guys in suits on a Vespa and took in the sights of the River Thames from Vauxhall Bridge. Some people will have had the chance to work from home, getting an extra hour of sleep due to not commuting. Today is a day to celebrate, all businesses know problems may occur so are more relaxed. We all got to have a slower start to the day and got to take in some of the sights of London.
If nothing more, Tube Strikes should cause comradery and should encourage you to realise how easy life can be when everything runs like clock work, they are a secret old world blessing, which allows you to take five seconds out and breath.
Thursday, July 09, 2015
Labels: Industrial Action, London, London Underground, TFL, Tube Strike, Unions
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