Tag Archives: tube strike

Spare a thought for London Underground staff today

On the day of the last tube strike, I wrote that, unusually for me, I had some sympathy with what the unions were saying:

Let’s think about this a little. How would you feel if you were used to working a certain pattern of hours and your employer then told you that you would have to start working round the clock? (Party staff, please don’t answer that. I know you all work pretty much round the clock anyway.) You may have other responsibilities or require additional childcare and incur extra costs if you have to change to a different shift pattern.

There is a view I’ve seen articulated in a number of places that tube drivers earn £50,000 a year and should just get on with it. Actually, I don’t hold with that. I tend to value the people who provide services to me. Every time I step on a tube train, I’m relying on the drivers to keep me safe therefore I feel that I have some obligation to support them having decent pay and working conditions. It seems that the management has been less than effective at doing what they are paid to do – manage the change in the organisation.

I still feel that way, more so,  in fact.  Have a read of this very practical account of what the proposed changes to shift patterns will mean, written by a ticket officer. 

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