So, if the bus strike does go ahead tomorrow, I wonder wether we'll really see overcrowding on the tube (and resulting temporary tube station closures) - or whether this is just scaremongering by Bob Crow.royETA: During the last tubular strike I was all worried about the possible disruption, and nothing happened. So maybe this time I should just not worry. But if I do that then maybe fate will disrupt my journey just to spite me...
Roy, it depends on who's striking. If it's the maintenance staff, as during the last strike, then there will be less impact than if it's the drivers, and what proportion of them are participating in the strike. If it's most of them, we're stuffed, but we've seen in past tube drivers' strikes that the turnout is slipping with at least a partial service in offer on most lines. Finsbury Park's got such good bus links, that there's bound to be quite a lot of overspill into the tube station - that's not going to be nice. As for the letter in today's Metro which suggested that "bonuses" should be thought of as "bribes so that they won't strike during the Olympics"....
I'll be working as normal all the way through the Olympics. Same as I do at Christmas (including Boxing Day and New Year) and other times when it's significantly busier and much more stressful than usual. I don't get a bonus or extra pay. Buses will not be carrying extra people - they can't, they are already rammed to the rafters. Try the 19 on a wet Thursday morning. The traffic might be worse but I don't think that expecting them to turn up for work for two weeks to do their normal job but in a traffic jam deserves a bonus.
@harpistic - I was under the impression that the bus drivers are striking (and possibly the maintenance staff as well?) What proportion of them are members of UNITE I don't know.@miss annie - Besides, if the bus drivers are asked to work extra hours, they'll get paid overtime anyway.
Just confirmed now - bus strike is going ahead. Bah. http://londonist.com/2012/06/negotiations-to-avoid-tomorrows-london-bus-strike.php
Tube seemed pretty normal this morning. As far as buses go, on the SGR side the 210 and W7 are run by Metroline (one of the bus companies that's not on strike) and seemed to be running as normal, although there was no sign of any W3. Don't know what was going on on the Station Place/Seven Sisters Road side.roy
What is the alternative to not giving the bonus? It seems a bit risky not to, given that we're 4-5 weeks away from start day. I can't stand how workers create these situations. The first set of workers who were able to negotiate a bonus, have set a presedence that will ultimately lead to more and more problems for everyone.
If you work longer hours, claim the overtime. If the buses are busier, what do drivers care? they always get a seat!
When you sign up to a job, you are presented with a contract which you sign or you don't. A signed contract of employment is an agreement to supply services in return for remuneration based around a set of terms and conditions. If the working conditions of the Olympics sit outside of this contract, then reluctantly i can understand why they would protest and strike. But if not, its just opportunism.
I wonder if they realise that they are gradually creating an environment where TFL bosses will be looking to automate as many areas of the system as possible so as to minimise disruptions?
A Unite representative was on BBC Breakfast this morning and he made the bus driver union’s case to me.
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Why should top TFL executives, tube drivers, London Overground, DLR, Network rail and Heathrow Express workers get a bonus and not the bus drivers? - especially since TFL: and the private operators will rake it in during the games with all the extra journeys made.
The Bonus tally so far:
TFL Commissioner and executives – up to $1 million, though TFL denies this
Tube drivers -- up to £850
<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />London Overground and Docklands Light Railway -- £950
Network Rail -- £500
Heathrow Express -- £700
Still in dispute
South West Trains
First Great Western
Boris bike scheme operator
@miss annie, I never understand this argument. I know you work very hard and Christmas etc in the shop must be a nightmare, but to me this seems like a reason for you (and all shopworkers) to get bonuses or time and half at such times rather than an argument against any other worker getting bonuses or extra money. I do hours of unpaid overtime every press week - once working from half eight Friday morning to 1am Friday night/Saturday morning - but I wouldn't use this as an argument for anyone else not getting paid for overtime.
There is a simple answer to those complaining about this, why not become a bus driver there are always plenty of vacancies go on Miss Annie give it a try !
I would but I don't have a driving license. I'd happily give it a go but there might be casualties.
@Idoru, as Brodiej points out they have signed a contract to do a job. What part of the job will be any different from what they normally do? They can claim overtime as they usually do, why a bonus as well?
It will ensure that they turn up every shift as it will not paid otherwise. I think they have to do 29 shifts to get it.
Works out at about £2 an hour extra
I'll be turning up for work every day too. Because it's my job. £2 per hour would represent about a 20% bonus for me, perhaps I'll ask for one too.
I can't stand how workers create these situations. [...] If you work longer hours, claim the overtime. [...] When you sign up to a job, you are presented with a contract which you sign or you don't.
As I understand it, tube drivers don't normally get overtime. They get paid an annual salary. London Underground wanted them to work different and longer hours than was agreed in their contracts, and came to an agreement with them about how much extra to pay them for those different and extra hours. Sounds to me like things worked exactly like they should.
What seems to have happened is that the tube drivers' agreement has been so incompetently reported by the press (and AIUI that includes highly misleading estimates as to the amount of extra money that tube drivers are likely to earn) that everyone now thinks the tube drivers are getting large amounts of extra money for doing no extra work. It seems some of the bus drivers' have decided they want some of that action, too
(Yes, I've been reading uk.transport.london)
I'm with Miss Annie on this.Most of us have busy periods at work when we do a lot more hours than what's in our contracts. There are many industries where full-time employees routinely work 50+ hours a week without any extra compensation. Unaesthetic is a designer. He never works less than 45 hours per week. At busy times, it's more like 60. My cousin is a lawyer. At her firm, 12-hour days are standard.The unions are taking the piss. They're holding the city to ransom.And it's not like they provide such a great service the rest of the time. This morning, we had to wait 10 minutes outside the tube before they let us in (overcrowding). Then the train sat for ages at Highbury as they dealt with a broken train at Kings Cross. At Euston, they discovered a suspicious package. We gave up and walked the rest of the way. I got to work 30 minutes late and dripping with sweat. Thank you, London Underground. I'm glad the drivers earn twice what I make.
The managers are taking the piss in all the industries/companies where people are working 12 hour days (or anything past their contract) as standard.Yes, some unions took the piss in the past, which made it easier for that situation to arise. And Bob Crow still does take the piss. But why can't we just have a nice, equable situation where nobody takes the piss? Everyone does a fair day's work for a fair day's pay? It would also cut unemployment (and the benefit bill) if firms were taking on as many people as they needed to do the work, not as few as they can get away with.
Yes, that would be great.
However, lots of companies are cutting staff and freezing wages just to keep afloat and staff are working longer hours to be sure of keeping their jobs. it's not pretty in the private sector at the moment, retail in particular is tough.
@ADGS - If it were up to me, we'd all be working four-day, 36-hour weeks. Sadly, it's not up to me. Long hours are the reality of working life for millions of people. Many of these people rely on public transport to get them to their jobs. And they don't appreciate being told that they must pay higher fares so that a driver working 35 hours a week for £50k a year gets more money.I'm sure that street cleaners will have to work extra hard over the Olympics so we don't all drown in piles of street trash. Why aren't they threatening to go on strike? My guess is that people working two jobs for £7 an hour don't have time to think about striking. They just get on with things.Everyone has a different definition of 'a fair day's work for a fair day's pay.' I'm sure that the transport workers feel their demands are nothing if not fair. The rest of us disagree.
@miss annie - That was the argument against introducing a minimum wage. In the end, very few businesses went under. And what if they do? Do we really want companies staying afloat by mistreating their staff?I don't have a problem with my boss asking me to stay late once in a while, as long as I can go home early when it's quiet. I probably wouldn't have a problem taking a pay cut if it meant that I got to keep my job in a recession. But when things picked up again, I would expect a raise. In my experience, though, it rarely works like that. Employees make sacrifices when things are bad. Businesses make money when things are good.
Usually no one asks me to stay late. I do it because, although it's badly paid and sometimes stressful, I like my job and I'm happy to stay until I've finished whatever task I'm doing. When I'm asked to stay late I do, mainly out of team spirit more than anything. I don't feel mistreated, we take all our breaks, get paid holidays, sick leave etc. Thank the lord I don't work in a place like a call centre where your every move is monitored.
I do show up every day even when I know it's going to be busy, stressful and horrible. Even when I know that there is no bonus at the end of it. Even when transport workers are making my life more difficult so that they can have a pay rise and bonus. Just like thousands of other people do.
I suppose I am just quite old fashioned in thinking that there are times when you just get on and do a bit more when it's needed without billing someone for every extra minute.
My cousin is a lawyer. At her firm, 12-hour days are standard. If she is with a big firm she would have started on about £65k a year. A bus driver is on less that £300 including overtime
I keep saying if being a bus driver is so great why not become one. If you don't have licence get one if it is such a great investment !
Yes, I know too many lawyers to weep for them and their 12-hour shifts. The perks and remuneration are immense.
@Ali - she works in the States, so she earns a lot more than that. I've never heard her complain about the hours--she knew what she was getting into when she took the job--but it doesn't change the fact that it's common practice to work more than 'full time'. It's also common practice in many low-paid industries. I should also point out (and I can't believe I'm defending lawyers here) that she spent many years and six figures (loans) on her education. If you're going to argue that anyone can become a bus driver, I'm going to argue that most people could become lawyers, if they really wanted to. Personally, I don't want to be either.But we don't set salaries based on whether or not we'd like to do the job ourselves. If we did, toilet cleaners would be earning more than bankers. £50k to drive a train is a bit much. My boss earns less than that. He has a PhD and does medical research that saves lives.
The Train driver is responsible for the safty of hundreds of people on the Trains, I am not sure I would like the responsibilty of keeping all those people behind the yellow line on the platform at FPS in the rush hour.
What about the Barclays scandle hardly any fine at the UK end !
Is the driver really that responsible for safety? Surely it's the station staff that are responsible for safety on platforms. There's not much the driver can do. The only reason I wouldn't want to do the job is the apparently very high chance of someone committing suicide in front of your eyes.
The driver does have a major safety role - in the event of an accident between stations the driver will be the only member of staff there to deal with the incident and has to know how to safely handle a wide variety of dangerous situations.
BTW, new bus strike dates announced: 5 Jul and 24 Julroy
Did I not hear Boris pronounce that if they went on strike the last time they would get nothing so I suppose unless he backs down theer wil be strikes during the Games
"Employees make sacrifices when things are bad. Businesses make money when things are good." - Rainbow Carnage hits the nail on the head. Just as employees do often have to stay late on busy days, without getting any leeway on quiet days. It's one-sided bullshit, and a reminder that (London transport aside) the pendulum has swung too far away from the unions.
Yes, train drivers are responsible for getting passengers off the train if it's suck in a tunnel, but that still doesn't come close to justifying their salary. It takes 22 weeks to become a train driver. That's five months of (paid) training. In contrast, every administrator at my place of work has a post-grad degree of one type or another. No one earns more than £30k. But, of course, administrators are not responsible for other people's lives.Paramedics are. They earn around £25k. It takes between two and five years to become a paramedic. They save lives every day. You really think that train drivers should earn twice as much as paramedics?I'm a big fan of unions, but the RMT can fuck right off.
"Employees make sacrifices when things are bad. Businesses make money when things are good."
Cound't agree more it is a bit like the Banks
Privatise profit socialise debt !
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