Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Lightning never strikes twice

Shame the same can't be said of the RMT.

In fairness, they haven't gone on strike so far this year, which by their standards is pretty good. It doesn't take much for Bob Crow to throw his toys out of the pram and get members to strike, often for the daftest of reasons.

This time it's a more conventional strike over wanting a 5% pay rise. But hang on a minute -we're in the middle of a recession, no? People all over the place are losing jobs while others are asking for over the odds. RMT members often seem to be unhappy with their lot but it's questionable as to how much this is justified. Don't like your unsociable hours? Try working for the police. Don't enjoy dealing with drunk/aggressive members of the public? See if you can hack it as a paramedic. Feel your pay doesn't reflect the value of the public service you provide? Try living on a Healthcare Assistant wage.

For once I find myself in agreement with Boris; his description of this action as a 'ludicrous and unnecessary disruption' hits the spot. I'm impressed by the contingency plans that they are trying to put in place, with guided cycle routes and shared taxis. It's just a shame resources have to be deployed to this end. And it's not just commuters and their employers who are going to be inconvenienced - all the businesses that would have got passing trade will be affected... all those cups of coffee and sandwiches that would have been sold to people who will choose to work from home. I wandered through Covent Garden this evening and it was relatively quiet - presumably evening diners had decided to get home before their tube carriages turned into pumpkins.

Still, every cloud... at least Tube strikes have the pleasant side effect of allowing me to be smug. All those people who turn their nose up at South London and declare it to be rubbish cos we don't have the tube are going to struggle to get to work tomorrow. And I can catch my usual train, have a short walk, and hopefully not add more than 10 minutes to my journey.

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