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All across the Great Western territory => The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom => Topic started by: ChrisB on April 20, 2022, 11:52:10 am



Title: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on April 20, 2022, 11:52:10 am
From Hull Live via MSN (https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/other/rail-strike-threat-with-40-000-workers-urged-to-vote-for-walkout-in-pay-row/ar-AAWoOCs?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=5e02a27a2ab44f61fb2788cc967b4a45)

Quote
Thousands of workers with some of the UK's biggest train operators and Network Rail will be asked to vote on strike action in disputes over jobs and pay. The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said a yes vote among its 40,000 members could lead to the biggest rail strike in modern history.

The union claimed Network Rail is planning to cut at least 2,500 safety-critical maintenance jobs as part of a £2 billion reduction in spending, while workers at train operators have been subject to pay freezes and changes to their terms and conditions. Strike action could begin in June if workers vote to walkout in the ballot running from April 26 to May 24.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Railway workers have had to contend with pay freezes, the prospect of losing their jobs and repeated attacks on their terms and conditions. Removing 2,500 safety-critical jobs from Network Rail will spell disaster for the public, make accidents more likely and will increase the possibility of trains flying off the tracks.

“Train operating companies have praised our members for being key workers during the pandemic but have refused to keep staff pay in line with inflation and soaring living costs. As a result, thousands of railway workers have seen their living standards plummet and have run out of patience.

“The way for trade unions to effectively take on the cost-of-living crisis is to stand up for their members at work and take industrial action when employers are not moved by the force of reasoned argument. A national rail strike will bring the country to a standstill, but our members’ livelihoods and passenger safety are our priorities.”

The ballot will be among RMT members on Network Rail and Chiltern Railways, Cross Country Trains, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Northern Trains, South Eastern Railway, South Western Railway, Island Line, GTR (including Gatwick Express), Transpennine Express, Avanti West Coast, and West Midlands Trains.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Timmer on April 20, 2022, 12:09:00 pm
Thanks for the heads up Chris. Sadly, I think it's an odds on certainty that the vote will go the way of strike action. Won't be booking any rail related travel for June.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on April 20, 2022, 03:52:35 pm
Given the virtually daily disruption between Reading and Paddington due to points failures, customers could be forgiven for thinking that Network Rail are already on strike.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on April 20, 2022, 04:23:41 pm
Rail travel is beginning to recover. Strikes will turn passengers away again. The RMT seem incapable of dialogue with employers and go immediately to ballots for strike action. Always shooting first. Trouble is what the RMT aim at...

(https://i.ibb.co/b3XhQSX/5bad93d2200000e500ff0d8c.jpg)


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on April 20, 2022, 04:33:46 pm
They don't want two-way dialogue - they think they are strong enough to only require one-0way dialogue and that their members are due, every year, inflation-busting pay-rises. Not inflation-equalling, but busting. So more money for doing the same job, with extra on top should their working habits change (even a different, bbut no harder way of checking tickets, for example. "New Tech, innit!")

One day, they'll lose out. It's coming....


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 20, 2022, 04:35:57 pm
I will be voting ‘no’ to any ballot for strike action or action short of a strike.  Though it’s difficult to gauge the general mood amongst employees.  Many are now being asked to forgo a pay rise for the third year running.  Is it greedy to want some kind of award this year, given the cost of living crisis?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on April 20, 2022, 04:45:57 pm
One has been offered, but the RMT wants one over the RPI again.

Might suggest a move to CPI being their first move, that's what the majority of workers get awards against these days.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Henry on April 20, 2022, 05:37:19 pm

 Talking to Rail staff at my local station (Devon), pay is not an issue.
 
 Perhaps you should and go and talk to some of the staff.

 


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on April 20, 2022, 05:44:08 pm
I guess you mean "Perhaps you they (the RMT to which I assume they belong) should and go and talk to some of the staff.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Henry on April 20, 2022, 05:53:29 pm

 No, I talk to rail staff about local issue's , forget the RMT.
 It's local management 'festering' the low morale amongst the rail staff
 in this area. Of course due to this I think it is highly likely that their will be a
 Yes vote .


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on April 20, 2022, 06:23:09 pm
Rail travel is beginning to recover. Strikes will turn passengers away again. The RMT seem incapable of dialogue with employers and go immediately to ballots for strike action. Always shooting first. Trouble is what the RMT aim at...

(https://i.ibb.co/b3XhQSX/5bad93d2200000e500ff0d8c.jpg)

You just do not know what is going on within NR and how long the discussions have been going on NR Senior Ex and Unions

Suffice to say the is driver is a political decision taken at the Treasury to reduce the funding NR receives and the plan is fares will be going up in line with July RPI in Jan 23


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on April 20, 2022, 06:51:48 pm
RpI is currently 9% for last month…..ouch


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on April 20, 2022, 11:09:11 pm
One has been offered, but the RMT wants one over the RPI again.

What has been offered, Chris?  And does that offer extend to all RMT members?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on April 21, 2022, 06:47:30 am
One has been offered, but the RMT wants one over the RPI again.

What has been offered, Chris?  And does that offer extend to all RMT members?

As far as the NR part of the industry is concerned there is no pay rise negotiations until the talks on re-organisation of maintenance is complete; this is causing some unrest with operations grade.  Management grades have not seen a pay rise in several years.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: CyclingSid on April 21, 2022, 07:08:45 am
ONS (Office of National Statistics) themselves seem to have problems with the existing inflation measures:

Quote
In the ONS publication – Shortcomings of the Retail Prices Index as a
measure of inflation – the then National Statistician in his foreword referred to “general inflation” in relation to the RPI.

Quote
nflation. In the 12 months to March prices rose by:
CPI 7.0% up 0.8% from 6.2% (most used measure)
RPI 9.0% up 0.8% from 8.2% (still widely used)
CPIH 6.2% up 0.7% from 5.5% (ONS prefers it but no-one uses it except Ofwat)

The original document for those suffering from insomnia https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/articles/shortcomingsoftheretailpricesindexasameasureofinflation/2018-03-08 (https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/articles/shortcomingsoftheretailpricesindexasameasureofinflation/2018-03-08)


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on April 21, 2022, 06:29:33 pm
In today's Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/apr/20/threat-of-biggest-rail-strike-in-modern-uk-history?utm_term=6261025fbdc307534838938be9a92ec2&utm_campaign=BusinessToday&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=bustoday_email)

Quote
Union threatens ‘biggest rail strike in modern UK history’

RMT to ballot more than 40,000 workers at Network Rail and train firms in dispute over jobs and pay

More than 40,000 railway workers are to be balloted in a dispute over jobs and pay that a union says could result in Britain’s biggest rail strike in modern history.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said staff would be asked to vote on strike action over Network Rail’s plans to cut at least 2,500 maintenance jobs as part of a £2bn reduction in spending on the network.

Meanwhile, workers at train operators have been subject to pay freezes and changes to their terms and conditions.

The RMT said it was the biggest ballot it has undertaken of its members for a single dispute since the union was formed in 1990. The ballot opens on 26 April and closes on 24 May, so strike action could begin in June.

The dispute is just one of many battles over pay being fought across the UK as salary increases fail to keep up with a soaring rate of inflation that hit 7% last month and is forecast to rise to 10%.

The Communication Workers Union announced on Wednesday that Post Office workers were to stage a one-day strike on 3 May. The CWU said the action was in response to a pay freeze for 2021 and the offer of a 2% increase from April this year alongside a £250 one-off lump sum, which officials described as “exceptionally poor”.

The RMT’s general secretary, Mick Lynch, said: “Railway workers have had to contend with pay freezes, the prospect of losing their jobs and repeated attacks on their terms and conditions.

“Removing 2,500 safety-critical jobs from Network Rail will spell disaster for the public, make accidents more likely and will increase the possibility of trains flying off the tracks.

He added that “thousands of railway workers” had seen their living standards “plummet” and had “run out of patience”.

The ballot will be among RMT members on Network Rail and the train operators Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, Greater Anglia, LNER, East Midlands Railway, c2c, Great Western Railway, Northern Trains, Southeastern, South Western Railway, Island Line, GTR (including Gatwick Express), TransPennine Express, Avanti West Coast, and West Midlands Trains.

Network Rail was “disappointed” that the RMT had taken the decision to ballot for strike, its regional director Tim Shoveller said.

He said the pandemic had hit the railway hard adding: “We know travel habits and passenger demand have changed and the industry has to change, too. We cannot keep relying on government handouts, and so we must work together with train operators and our trades unions to save millions of pounds and deliver a more efficient railway.”

The Post Office strike will involve counter staff, as well as those in clerical, administration and call centres. So-called crown post offices will be affected as will smaller sub-post offices.

A Post Office spokesperson said: “We want to assure our customers that the vast majority of our 11,500 branches are unaffected by this decision and will remain open throughout the day.”

Meanwhile, at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), UK workers have voted for industrial action for the first time in the pharmaceutical firm’s history. The workers, members of the union Unite, voted 86% in favour of strike action.

Unite said GSK, which produces products such as Sensodyne and Panadol as well as medications for combating critical illnesses, has a 48-hour window to make a “much-improved offer” or strike action will be announced.

Unite’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Never before have our members at GSK voted for strike action – their anger is a clear response to the company’s colossal corporate greed.”

GSK made a profit of £8.8bn last year.

A spokesperson for GSK said: “We recognise the impact inflation rates are having on people around the country and are strongly committed to supporting the skilled people who work in GSK manufacturing.

“We have offered a 4% increase to base salary, in addition to a one-off award – equivalent to around 2% of base salary – as well as an annual bonus for 2021 which paid out above-target.

“We are disappointed that the Unite union has taken the decision to strike, but remain committed to working with them to find a solution.”


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on May 24, 2022, 09:03:14 pm
Ballot result is in.

RMT members have voted in favour of strike action across all TOCs and at Network Rail. Very strong mandate. 89% in favour with a 71% mandate.

https://twitter.com/RMTunion/status/1529186089461764097


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: broadgage on May 24, 2022, 09:25:25 pm
I am shocked by the scale of support for a strike.
A NARROW majority in favour of a strike would not have surprised me, but an 89%/11% majority in favour of a strike shocks me.

And with a generous turnout, the result is genuinely representative.

Does anyone know if the railway freight operators will be striking ? or only the passenger TOCs?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ray951 on May 24, 2022, 09:30:38 pm
While I have every sympathy with having a below inflation rate pay rise especially when inflation is running at 9%+, I can't help thinking that this is a massive mistake especially when the industry has lost 25% of it's income.

And where do the RMT/rail staff think the money is going to come from for a pay rise given that there are only 3 sources of income:
1) Government - good luck with that; you might find NHS staff, teachers, police, etc. in the queue for a pay rise, as well, and with more public sympathy.
2) Fare payers - fares are already too expensive and you won't be thanked.
3) Productivity - you might get a pay rise but some of your colleagues will lose there jobs.

I also think that this is a trap set by the Government to break the power of the unions on the railway, which you have just walked into. It reminds me so much of the miners in the 1980's and that didn't turn out well.




Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on May 24, 2022, 09:31:34 pm
RMT press release:

Quote
Railway workers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action across Network Rail and the train operating companies, in the biggest endorsement for industrial action by railway workers since privatisation.

71% of those balloted took part in the vote with 89% voting in favour of strike action and only 11% voting against.

The union will now be demanding urgent talks with Network Rail and the 15 train operating companies that were balloted to find a negotiated settlement to the dispute over pay, jobs and safety.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch: "Today's overwhelming endorsement by railway workers is a vindication of the union's approach and sends a clear message that members want a decent pay rise, job security and no compulsory redundancies.

"Our NEC will now meet to discuss a timetable for strike action from mid-June, but we sincerely hope ministers will encourage the employers to return to the negotiating table and hammer out a reasonable settlement with the RMT."

END

Notes:

RMT balloted over 40,000 members in Network Rail and the train operating companies

The following companies have voted for strike action and action short of strike:

Network Rail

Chiltern Railways,
Cross Country Trains,
Greater Anglia,
LNER,
East Midlands Railway,
c2c,
Great Western Railway,
Northern Trains,
South Eastern
South Western Railway
Transpennine Express,
Avanti West Coast,
West Midlands Trains

The following company voted for action short of strike:

GTR (including Gatwick Express)


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ray951 on May 24, 2022, 09:33:10 pm
I am shocked by the scale of support for a strike.
A NARROW majority in favour of a strike would not have surprised me, but an 89%/11% majority in favour of a strike shocks me.

And with a generous turnout, the result is genuinely representative.

Does anyone know if the railway freight operators will be striking ? or only the passenger TOCs?
I don't think the freight operators are included but if Network Rail , especially signallers, are on strike you probably cant run trains anyway.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on May 24, 2022, 09:40:36 pm
I feel that this is the RMT trying to flex its muscles to show HMG they mean business. No longer are they in dispute with private companies. The TOCs are just puppets of the DfT now in the period before we move to Great British Railways.

I don't think the RMT will succeed in its aims. There's simply no money for pay rises to match inflation. Anything too generous will also only fuel inflation. The most likely course of action from HMG will be to ride out the strike. And I hope they do take that course.

For the record. Island Line voted against industrial action. So, the comprehensive rail network on the Isle of Wight should stay running. :P


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on May 24, 2022, 11:07:29 pm
I suspect the signallers on the Island Line are RMT & they voted to strike


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on May 24, 2022, 11:39:59 pm
I suspect the signallers on the Island Line are RMT & they voted to strike

The signallers work for Island Line. Well, thier actual employer is SWR.

It would appear that employees at Island Line still have seperate union voting even though Island Line is no longer a seperate legal entity. These days it's just an SWR brand.




Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: broadgage on May 25, 2022, 04:56:17 am
If the strike is long continued, and well supported, I would be slightly concerned about shortages of fuel for power stations.

Only a very small proportion of UK electricity now comes from coal, often zero at this time of year. Some coal will almost certainly be needed next winter and it is delivered almost entirely by rail.

Slightly more significant is wood chips, several percent of UK electricity is from this fuel, almost all delivered by rail. Only limited stocks are kept as the fuel is bulky and perishable.

Natural gas and renewably generated electricity would be unaffected by a rail strike. Some natural gas fired power stations can burn light oil in an emergency, this is generally delivered by road.

Nuclear power stations would be unaffected in the short term, but new and depleted nuclear fuel is almost entirely moved by rail.

A few posts back, a respected member states that rail freight is not expected to be DIRECTLY affected by this strike, but that strike action by signalers could seriously disrupt freight.

Another concern would be supplies of petrol, diesel fuel, LPG, and heating oil. Final delivery is generally by road but bulk or long distance transport is often by rail. Large consumers of liquid fuel, such as airports, are often served by pipelines.

I expect an increase in strike action affecting road transport, and oil pipelines. "Sympathetic strike action" is now prohibited, but I expect an increase in completely independent disputes that happen to disrupt  road transport, pipeline operations, and electricity generation.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on May 25, 2022, 06:49:59 am
The driver behind all this is No 10, the political pressures on the Exec Teams of the enormous, I get the sense that the Exec do not have the freedom to negotiate with the Unions without refereeing back to No 10.

There is a lot of unrest at grassroots level and management level, it is highly likely that during any industrial action managers may just work their contracted hours whether in a Union or not


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: CyclingSid on May 25, 2022, 06:50:23 am
Maybe somebody forgot that the party in power is the one that took on the National Union of Miners, and look where the mining industry is now. Beeching could be small beer.

Supposedly part of the government's thoughts on getting the economy going is, more road projects.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on May 25, 2022, 07:32:22 am
The driver behind all this is No 10, the political pressures on the Exec Teams of the enormous, I get the sense that the Exec do not have the freedom to negotiate with the Unions without refereeing back to No 10.

There is a lot of unrest at grassroots level and management level, it is highly likely that during any industrial action managers may just work their contracted hours whether in a Union or not

Managers who know which side their bread is buttered may well step up. Particularly as they are the grade that could see redundancies first. They may want to prove their worth while the troops are blindly led into battle by Mick Lynch.

Much as I can't stand this government I do think they are up for the fight. I don't think this is a battle the RMT will win.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: grahame on May 25, 2022, 07:42:09 am
Much as I can't stand this government I do think they are up for the fight. I don't think this is a battle the RMT will win.

I really fear that the customers of the rail industry will lose.  What an archaic way to sort out your differences!


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Marlburian on May 25, 2022, 08:03:16 am
An union leader was on the Beeb this morning saying that one reason for the strike action was to protect jobs. Seems a funny way of going about it.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: PhilWakely on May 25, 2022, 11:25:30 am
I've just been listening to a discussion on Channel 5. Why is it that all of the critics believe that all staff on the railway are drivers earning £60K+ ?

There are platform staff, ticket office staff, cleaners and others - all earning significantly less than drivers.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Timmer on May 25, 2022, 11:38:15 am
I've just been listening to a discussion on Channel 5. Why is it that all of the critics believe that all staff on the railway are drivers earning £60K+ ?

There are platform staff, ticket office staff, cleaners and others - all earning significantly less than drivers.
Sadly Phil in most people's minds all they think about is the person who drives the trains. Though these days, with so many stations having no staff whatsoever and trains operated by DOO, it's easy to understand why many people think the only person who works on the railways is the train driver.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on May 25, 2022, 02:13:29 pm
Video response on social media to the RMT ballot from GWR's Mark Hopwood:

https://twitter.com/GWRHelp/status/1529442805084561409


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: grahame on May 25, 2022, 03:48:36 pm
Quote
Dear Graham
 
You may have seen the RMT’s announcement last night announcing a vote in favour of taking industrial action. This affects not only GWR but other Train Operating Companies across England, and Network Rail too. The RMT National Executive Committee is considering the result and they will let us know their decision in due course, with no strike dates announced as yet.
 
While we are disappointed with the result, we do understand the issues raised. We very much welcome the opportunity to talk with the RMT to avert strike action, and we already have dates in the diary to discuss this. Throughout the pandemic, the railway industry has received over £16bn of taxpayer support to keep the railways running and I believe everyone recognises that this is not sustainable, with the industry going forward taking no more than its fair share. I do not want to see the post-Covid recovery that our teams at GWR and colleagues and stakeholders across the industry have been working towards damaged, nor the case for the changes needed to secure jobs and services into the future.
 
While we hope we can reach an agreement through discussions with the Trades Unions, we continue to develop contingency plans should strike action take place, and my team and I will keep you updated.
 
I have also shared a video for our customer and stakeholders on our social media, which is available to view here.
 
Best wishes
 
Mark
 
Mark Hopwood CBE | Managing Director | Great Western Railway
Milford House | 1 Milford Street | Swindon | SN1 1HL


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: broadgage on May 25, 2022, 04:48:20 pm
I've just been listening to a discussion on Channel 5. Why is it that all of the critics believe that all staff on the railway are drivers earning £60K+ ?

There are platform staff, ticket office staff, cleaners and others - all earning significantly less than drivers.
Sadly Phil in most people's minds all they think about is the person who drives the trains. Though these days, with so many stations having no staff whatsoever and trains operated by DOO, it's easy to understand why many people think the only person who works on the railways is the train driver.

The RMT might get more sympathy if they called for a flat rate increase of say £2,000 for all full time railway staff, pro rata for part time. That would be only about 2%  for those on about £60,000 and nearly 10% for the lowest paid.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: stuving on May 25, 2022, 05:31:35 pm
There was a pretty crude attack on the RMT leadership in yesterday's Times, based on their pay, Marxist tendencies, and support of Putin's Russia over the Crimea. Very short on analysis - more what you's expect in the Mail, really,

Now I can't see any scandal in the top three officials being paid around £100K, and if Mick Lynch doesn't love bosses it could have a lot ot do with his being blacklisted by the construction employers. But with Alex Gordon (president) in particular, he's in the leadership of CPGB, which has been following the Kremlin's propaganda even since all pretence of socialism was dropped. I find that baffling, but then the fact that CPGB still exists takes some believing.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: broadgage on May 25, 2022, 05:59:26 pm
Support for Soviet/communist Russia was pretty much a requirement for any left wing trades union back in the good old days.

The fact that today's russia is neither soviet nor communist will take a long a while to penetrate. The present russian leadership and actions have more in common with the nazis of the last war, but despite this I hear little if any criticism from the various left wing and "anti nazi" groups.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Henry on May 25, 2022, 06:36:08 pm
 Talking to rail staff in South Devon the emphasis was, surprisingly, not pay.
  The 'toxic' relationship between staff and management seemed to be a
  major issue.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Phil on May 25, 2022, 06:53:28 pm
Thanks for the heads up Chris. Sadly, I think it's an odds on certainty that the vote will go the way of strike action. Won't be booking any rail related travel for June.

Sadly I already have, & will be watching this saga unfold with interest. Our daughter's getting married in Scotland on 11th June and  the advance rail tickets (first class no less!) have been bought and paid for already. I've seen strike action is threatened for "mid June" so I'm keeping everything I have two of crossed that we can still get there, even if getting back will be a problem...


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Timmer on May 25, 2022, 07:25:18 pm
Sadly I already have, & will be watching this saga unfold with interest. Our daughter's getting married in Scotland on 11th June and  the advance rail tickets (first class no less!) have been bought and paid for already. I've seen strike action is threatened for "mid June" so I'm keeping everything I have two of crossed that we can still get there, even if getting back will be a problem...
Me too Phil. Wedding anniversary long weekend away that weekend and instead of choosing to go abroad or somewhere by car chose the train. Hoping that wasn’t a mistake and that mid June really means mid June.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: broadgage on May 25, 2022, 07:27:11 pm
Talking to rail staff in South Devon the emphasis was, surprisingly, not pay.
  The 'toxic' relationship between staff and management seemed to be a
  major issue.

Interested to hear this.
There does seem to be a type of manager who consider that if staff under their control are happy at work, that the manager is not doing their job.
Common in some industries, and perhaps now infesting the railways.

As an example I once worked for a manager who deducted 30 minutes pay for a 5 minutes late arrival. He seemed outraged when staff thus affected stated "in that case, if I arrive at say 08-05 and should have arrived at 08-00, then I wont start working until 08-30 if that is when you start paying me" And as for staying an extra few minutes at the end of the day, forget it.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on May 25, 2022, 07:48:28 pm
The driver behind all this is No 10, the political pressures on the Exec Teams of the enormous, I get the sense that the Exec do not have the freedom to negotiate with the Unions without refereeing back to No 10.

There is a lot of unrest at grassroots level and management level, it is highly likely that during any industrial action managers may just work their contracted hours whether in a Union or not

Managers who know which side their bread is buttered may well step up. Particularly as they are the grade that could see redundancies first. They may want to prove their worth while the troops are blindly led into battle by Mick Lynch.

Much as I can't stand this government I do think they are up for the fight. I don't think this is a battle the RMT will win.

The 'modernising management' within Network Rail has been completed letters are being issued this week, effects about 10% of the management grades the rest are expected to pick up the pieces


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 25, 2022, 08:11:32 pm
There was a pretty crude attack on the RMT leadership in yesterday's Times, based on their pay, Marxist tendencies, and support of Putin's Russia over the Crimea. Very short on analysis - more what you's expect in the Mail, really,

Now I can't see any scandal in the top three officials being paid around £100K, and if Mick Lynch doesn't love bosses it could have a lot ot do with his being blacklisted by the construction employers. But with Alex Gordon (president) in particular, he's in the leadership of CPGB, which has been following the Kremlin's propaganda even since all pretence of socialism was dropped. I find that baffling, but then the fact that CPGB still exists takes some believing.

They've tended to feature some pretty unsavoury characters;

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/rmt-union-boss-suspended-boris-johnson-coronavirus-steve-hedley-a9459706.html

(The late) Bob Crow was also a notable member of CPGB.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: broadgage on May 25, 2022, 08:47:46 pm
Much as I can't stand this government I do think they are up for the fight. I don't think this is a battle the RMT will win.

I really fear that the customers of the rail industry will lose.  What an archaic way to sort out your differences!

There is an alternative system, used IIRC in some Nordic countries. Known as "pendulum arbitration" whereby an independent panel of experts choose NOT a compromise between the two sides, but declare in TOTAL favour of whichever side they believe to be the more reasonable. For example if the employer offers a 6% rise, and the employees demand 12%, then the arbitration panel MUST award Either 6% or 12%, whichever they believe to be more reasonable, but are NOT allowed to award a compromise of say 9% This system encourages moderate offers by both sides since the more extreme are the demands made, the more likely it is that the panel will find in favour of the other side.
The result is legally binding for I think 12 months, after which the process may be repeated.

This is in contrast to the UK process whereby the unions demand say 20% in the hope of actually achieving about 10%, whilst the employer offers perhaps 3% in the hope of ending up paying no more than say 6% After a strike each side almost always gets part of what they wanted, hence the importance of taking an extreme position initialy.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: eightonedee on May 25, 2022, 11:31:01 pm
Quote
But with Alex Gordon (president) in particular, he's in the leadership of CPGB, which has been following the Kremlin's propaganda even since all pretence of socialism was dropped. I find that baffling, but then the fact that CPGB still exists takes some believing.

It always struck me that the extremes on either end of the political spectrum have more in common with each other than with those closer to their side of the centre - as the tragic history of the 20th century graphically illustrates. Now  they are all united by their love of hatred.....and the two most aggressively expansionist nationalistic regimes are the "harking back to the good old days of the Soviet Union" Russians and the Peoples Republic of China.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on May 25, 2022, 11:53:36 pm
We could do a lot worse than adopt the German concept of co-determination, where unions have a direct input in the management of companies. Co-dermination allows for worker councils who work with management on the shop floor to iron out issues, and for union representatives to be elected to supervisory roles at board level.

That said, it's hard to see company directors in the UK welcoming the likes of RMT firebrands to their boards. It would require legislation. An attitude shift would also be required. From our current adversarial approach between unions and employers/goverment to a more collegiate one.

No system is perfect though. Germany has faced recent rail strikes. The GDL union representing rail workers in Germany is, not unlike its UK counterpart, the RMT, one of that country's more millitant unions.

When you can disrupt public transport you can wield disproportionate power compared to say shutting down a car plant or a white goods factory.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 26, 2022, 06:11:10 am
https://twitter.com/GWRHelp/status/1529442805084561409?t=zDM7BguIoTQFoUEXQnhOGQ&s=09

Message from Mark Hopwood. Actually sums up the colossal amounts of taxpayers money pumped into the railways recently very well, and provides very good perspective and context for the many who need it.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on May 26, 2022, 06:26:49 am
https://twitter.com/GWRHelp/status/1529442805084561409?t=zDM7BguIoTQFoUEXQnhOGQ&s=09

Message from Mark Hopwood. Actually sums up the colossal amounts of taxpayers money pumped into the railways recently very well, and provides very good perspective and context for the many who need it.

There is no disputing the larges sum of money pumped into the railways during the pandemic, however the UK Government made the decision that the rail network would operate a full train service despite there being no or very little revenue being generated.  The rail industry did make a recommendation to the DfT to reduce capacity and services whist maintaining adequate services for key workers; the proposal would have meant furloughing rail workers.  The Government decided the political damage could be to high if key workers had even the slightest trouble getting to work, also it was 'more cost effective' to employ rail staff than furlough them.

The Government are now trying to recoup the money when they could have reduced the cost during the pandemic   


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on May 26, 2022, 07:23:09 am
Not sure about ‘recouping’….I doubt that’s possible with revised working patterns? Simply to reduce that cost from the current subsidy to something 10% less. So looking to cut £1.6billion from the subsidy rather than recover/recoup anything already spent.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: grahame on May 26, 2022, 08:08:26 am
Not sure about ‘recouping’….I doubt that’s possible with revised working patterns? Simply to reduce that cost from the current subsidy to something 10% less. So looking to cut £1.6billion from the subsidy rather than recover/recoup anything already spent.

The subsidy is (in broad terms) the difference between the cost of operation and the farebox income, and from what I saw on Monday, that farebox has come back strongly, but probably still has some way to go.   Trains were crowded enough / busy along the south coast though I have a feeling that some of the 4 car trains would have been 8 cars in the past.  5 and 4 cars on the Cardiff - Portsmouths I used.  The TransWilts service at 09:46 from Westbury had a real surge on when the incoming train arrived - amazing as I expect that train's main pickups to be Trowbridge and Melksham.

Any "recouping" will be when and if the farebox income exceeds the operating cost.  With shorter trains in places, that's unlikely (although you could "simplify" fares by removing better value options).  And it's also unlikely if reliability gets worse - be it because of staff illness, industrial action, cows on the line or cracked trains!


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: broadgage on May 26, 2022, 04:41:51 pm
BTW, I received a ballot paper in order that I could vote by post in the recent strike ballot.
I am not, and never have been a member of the RMT.

I returned it, unmarked, and have now received a letter thanking me for returning it.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on May 26, 2022, 04:50:20 pm
Not sure about ‘recouping’….I doubt that’s possible with revised working patterns? Simply to reduce that cost from the current subsidy to something 10% less. So looking to cut £1.6billion from the subsidy rather than recover/recoup anything already spent.

The subsidy is (in broad terms) the difference between the cost of operation and the farebox income, and from what I saw on Monday, that farebox has come back strongly, but probably still has some way to go.   Trains were crowded enough / busy along the south coast though I have a feeling that some of the 4 car trains would have been 8 cars in the past.  5 and 4 cars on the Cardiff - Portsmouths I used.  The TransWilts service at 09:46 from Westbury had a real surge on when the incoming train arrived - amazing as I expect that train's main pickups to be Trowbridge and Melksham.

Any "recouping" will be when and if the farebox income exceeds the operating cost.  With shorter trains in places, that's unlikely (although you could "simplify" fares by removing better value options).  And it's also unlikely if reliability gets worse - be it because of staff illness, industrial action, cows on the line or cracked trains!

Now this the scary part ....................

Rail fare price increase are based on? .............. Will the Government put a cap on the increase for 2023?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on May 26, 2022, 07:03:28 pm
however the UK Government made the decision that the rail network would operate a full train service despite there being no or very little revenue being generated. 

There were cuts to services during the pandemic though. My local service was cut from hourly to two hourly. Ticket office hours were reduced. Catering was removed.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Henry on May 27, 2022, 07:07:56 am
 I notice Scotrail have offered their Driver's 4.2 %  with no compulsory redundancies.
 
  Quite a good offer in my opinion,  surprised if GWR would match that bearing in mind their agenda to
   'run-down' ticket offices.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Timmer on May 27, 2022, 07:14:11 am
I notice Scotrail have offered their Driver's 4.2 %  with no compulsory redundancies.
 
  Quite a good offer in my opinion,  surprised if GWR would match that bearing in mind their agenda to
   'run-down' ticket offices.
Have you got a source or any further information regarding GWR’s agenda to ‘run down’ ticket offices Henry?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Henry on May 27, 2022, 07:24:25 am

 Apparently their was the rumour of changing Schedule 17 with regard to the
 ticket office hours. Of course with the expansion, in some area's, of 'smart cards.'
 and e-tickets etc. etc.  the downturn in the use of ticket offices has alarmed ticket office staff.

 


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: grahame on May 27, 2022, 08:04:17 am

 Apparently their was the rumour of changing Schedule 17 with regard to the
 ticket office hours. Of course with the expansion, in some area's, of 'smart cards.'
 and e-tickets etc. etc.  the downturn in the use of ticket offices has alarmed ticket office staff.

 

Coming in from left field, and going way off piste ...

Traditional counters at banks have largely gone, to be replaced by fewer branches with machines doing much of the remaining work and a smattering of reception staff "out front" rather than locked away being screens to handle the human touch where it's needed or wanted for some reason.

Is there a case for turning things around in a similar way at railway stations?   My local station had an impressive ticket office with racks of Edmonson tickets up the 1960s, when it closed along with the station itself.  Since then, the station has reopened and many, many years later a ticket machine was added. Last year a cafe opened run by the local CRP, and I find myself thinking that it could usefully be providing a rail passenger support service, such as ticketing and travel advice ... along with so many other station cafes.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: PrestburyRoad on May 27, 2022, 08:21:33 am
A current small-scale example is the not-for-profit rail travel agent Severn-Dee Travel at Gobowen station http://www.severndeetravel.org.uk/ (http://www.severndeetravel.org.uk/).


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: grahame on May 27, 2022, 10:09:54 am
A current small-scale example is the not-for-profit rail travel agent Severn-Dee Travel at Gobowen station http://www.severndeetravel.org.uk/ (http://www.severndeetravel.org.uk/).

Indeed - and I can recall models at Chester-le-Street and Llandrindod Wells and a concession at Looe.     Complexity of fare systems (but GBR will sort that out, right  ;D ) and so staff training levels, etc, have been an issue.   Also who pays for the service - it's been percentage commission on ticket sales based or was when I looked into it.  Percentages have been squeezed over the years, and for stations with primarily local traffic are slim, especially when cost of sales including card provider commissions are taken.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 27, 2022, 10:52:34 am
Coming in from left field, and going way off piste ...

Is there a case for turning things around in a similar way at railway stations?

I don’t think that’s left field at all.  It’s already happening to some degree on the railway and there will clearly be no long term future for ticket offices as we know them.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: eightonedee on May 27, 2022, 01:43:32 pm
Quote
Quote from: grahame on Today at 08:04:17 am
Coming in from left field, and going way off piste ...

Is there a case for turning things around in a similar way at railway stations?

I don’t think that’s left field at all.  It’s already happening to some degree on the railway and there will clearly be no long term future for ticket offices as we know them.

Coming in from further left field...

I have often wondered why non-one has taken the old French carnet system (which if I recall correctly enabled you to buy bundles of tickets at non-rail outlets ) further.  Why doesn't someone develop a system whereby you can buy tickets at Post Office and convenience stores, perhaps through a computer terminal?

I know that there seems to be a move towards making all sales through mobile phones, but (as I have moaned before!) not everyone wants to have one and it seems to me that there's far more social exclusion in effectively limiting rail travel to those with  mobile phones than a lot of the other alleged sources of social exclusion we constantly hear about. It's not just the cost, by the way. There was an elderly person on the radio recently complaining that her arthritis made using touch screen mobile phones almost impossible, yet in her home town most car parks operated the (awful?) "Ringo" system that involves "downloading an app" to her phone, rather than the much-easier-to-use contactless credit card machines that are now, mercifully, spreading.

So - a challenge for a modern user friendly railway - outlets for tickets at shops please - and a simplified fare structure so you don't get stuck behind someone trying to split their ticket to London at Slough when using it would be nice, too.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 27, 2022, 02:42:23 pm
Railways could be said to have pioneered the de-staffing of sales points – unstaffed stations were normal at least as long ago as the 1970s, and I would expect that nowadays the majority of stations (by number of stations, but not by number of passengers) have no staffing whatsoever. But that was really just displacing the sales point from station to train. We had to wait for the automatic ticket machines for staff-less ticket sales, and I think that arrived about the same time as self-checkouts in supermarkets. Both of course were significantly after the invention of the banking ATM. What railways don't have is something that every supermarket does – staff to help you use the self-service machines!


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 27, 2022, 05:00:31 pm
Coming in from left field, and going way off piste ...

Is there a case for turning things around in a similar way at railway stations?

I don’t think that’s left field at all.  It’s already happening to some degree on the railway and there will clearly be no long term future for ticket offices as we know them.

Hard to disagree with that view with the advance of technology.

Do the Unions have a view on this in terms of ticket offices closing? Is it part of the current dispute or is it another one we have to look forward to?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 27, 2022, 05:24:04 pm
Almost all ‘white collar’ staff are members of the TSSA union, so separate to the RMT and with very little power to wield.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on May 27, 2022, 07:52:15 pm
Almost all ‘white collar’ staff are members of the TSSA union, so separate to the RMT and with very little power to wield.

Except certain signalling and electrical control room grades, also if the TSSA coordinate their action with the RMT the planned use of trained management in contingency rolls could fall apart very quickly.

The last time the TSSA had vote to take industrial action short of strike action ie now working outside contracted hours signallers, electrical control room, route control, maintenance teams said they could not work safely if there was not a line manager on duty ....................... there just isn't enough Exc grade staff with the safety Competencies cover the line management rolls


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 27, 2022, 08:53:39 pm
Yes indeed.  My reply was directed at the ticket office staffing at TOC level rather than Network Rail/management level.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ellendune on May 27, 2022, 09:11:22 pm
Yes indeed.  My reply was directed at the ticket office staffing at TOC level rather than Network Rail/management level.

If ticket offices are to be reduced then the software on ticket vending machines needs to be massively improved. 


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 28, 2022, 10:38:33 am
Yes, I agree.  Although I suspect ticket vending machines will also largely become a thing of the past in the coming years, as e-tickets/passes will quickly become established as the primary way of obtaining authority to travel.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: PhilWakely on May 28, 2022, 04:04:22 pm
With the demise of ticket offices, I suspect that the cheapest option will rarely be offered.

A friend will be walking from Appleby to Whitby in July. It'll be interesting to know whether any automated solution will offer an Off-Peak Return from Exeter to Leeds and singles from Leeds to Appleby and Whitby to Leeds or will the traveller be expected to have a high degree of knowledge to request such an option?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 28, 2022, 05:43:30 pm
Before anyone points it out, yes I'm aware it's the Daily Mail, but the pictures do say a lot - these do not seem to be very pleasant people.

Hedley of course was the charming character who the RMT actually suspended for promising to throw a party if Boris Johnson died  - whilst he was in intensive care with COVID.

Now there's irony for you. He doesn't seem to have learned much from it..............

 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10862359/EXPOSED-Trade-union-bosses-rabid-sympathies-Russian-dictator-Vladimir-Putin.html


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on May 29, 2022, 01:03:14 am
Communist dinosaurs. Sadly there doesn't appear to be an approaching extinction event for the RMT leaders. While their members lose money by striking, Mick, Steve and co will continue to rake in their healthy salaries.

It amazes me that so many, apparently sane, RMT members buy into their outdated witterings and union methods.

For the record, I'm not anti-union. I'm anti-RMT.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on May 29, 2022, 07:50:09 am
Communist dinosaurs. Sadly there doesn't appear to be an approaching extinction event for the RMT leaders. While their members lose money by striking, Mick, Steve and co will continue to rake in their healthy salaries.

It amazes me that so many, apparently sane, RMT members buy into their outdated witterings and union methods.

For the record, I'm not anti-union. I'm anti-RMT.

You must not underestimate to discontent of the grassroots railway workers.  The ballot for industrial action has been something the grassroots has wanted the RMT to hold several months ago.  Even the non Union staff are discontent and my not cover turns outside their contracted hours, overtime is voluntary.

It would be a mistake to tar the average RMT, TSSA, ASLEF etc members as card carrying members of the communist party.  The leadership of trade unions is as democratic and transparent if not more so as the election of the leader of the conservative party, labour party etc.

Just to be clear I am not a member of a Trade Union


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 29, 2022, 08:56:25 am
Communist dinosaurs. Sadly there doesn't appear to be an approaching extinction event for the RMT leaders. While their members lose money by striking, Mick, Steve and co will continue to rake in their healthy salaries.

It amazes me that so many, apparently sane, RMT members buy into their outdated witterings and union methods.

For the record, I'm not anti-union. I'm anti-RMT.

You must not underestimate to discontent of the grassroots railway workers.  The ballot for industrial action has been something the grassroots has wanted the RMT to hold several months ago.  Even the non Union staff are discontent and my not cover turns outside their contracted hours, overtime is voluntary.

It would be a mistake to tar the average RMT, TSSA, ASLEF etc members as card carrying members of the communist party.  The leadership of trade unions is as democratic and transparent if not more so as the election of the leader of the conservative party, labour party etc.

Just to be clear I am not a member of a Trade Union

I don't think there was any suggestion from BNM that the membership of the RMT are communists (the membership of the NUM largely weren't either, remember them?) but the fish rots from the head down.

For the leadership of a significant British Trade Union to have been showing solidarity with the current Russian regime beggars belief.

Perhaps it's time for the ordinary, decent membership to rise up and put someone with more appropriate views and perspective on World events in charge - I am sure those thus unseated would appreciate the irony, given the Communist fondness for revolution.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 29, 2022, 10:54:35 am
With the demise of ticket offices, I suspect that the cheapest option will rarely be offered.

A friend will be walking from Appleby to Whitby in July. It'll be interesting to know whether any automated solution will offer an Off-Peak Return from Exeter to Leeds and singles from Leeds to Appleby and Whitby to Leeds or will the traveller be expected to have a high degree of knowledge to request such an option?
The traveller already requires a high level of knowledge to request such an option. Staff at a ticket office might suggest it to you but AIUI they are not obliged to.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ellendune on May 29, 2022, 12:32:26 pm
Yes, I agree.  Although I suspect ticket vending machines will also largely become a thing of the past in the coming years, as e-tickets/passes will quickly become established as the primary way of obtaining authority to travel.

What about the minority who are and I suspect will still be in the future unable or unwilling to use the internet?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 29, 2022, 03:06:47 pm
It’ll become much harder for them.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 29, 2022, 03:11:51 pm
Yes, I agree.  Although I suspect ticket vending machines will also largely become a thing of the past in the coming years, as e-tickets/passes will quickly become established as the primary way of obtaining authority to travel.

What about the minority who are and I suspect will still be in the future unable or unwilling to use the internet?

It'll become a progressively smaller cohort - "unable" to use the internet will need to be properly catered for, but "unwilling"? I suggest that they will need to move with the times.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on May 29, 2022, 08:19:37 pm
Editorial from the (29th May 2022) Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/may/29/the-guardian-view-on-the-future-of-rail-managed-decline-is-no-way-forward):

Quote
The RMT union’s vote for strike action should prompt a rethink of a short-sighted cuts programme.

At some point this summer, a popular vote will help determine the location of the future headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR). Unveiled with boosterish enthusiasm last year by the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, this new public body will supersede Network Rail, overseeing both services and infrastructure. Wherever GBR is eventually based – candidate hosts include historic train towns such as Crewe and Darlington – it will have its work cut out.

Last week’s overwhelming vote in favour of industrial action by members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has been predictably portrayed as a return to 1970s-style union militancy. Against a backdrop of soaring inflation and public sector pay caps, a potential confrontation between organised labour and the government does have a certain retro quality. But the Life on Mars alarmism is overdone and misses the deeper issues at stake. The RMT’s demands for better pay and job security should be seen in the context of an industry whose future is suddenly and disturbingly uncertain.

Total passenger numbers on trains have now returned to about 80% of pre-Covid levels. But the figures are significantly lower on profitable commuter routes – particularly those into London. White-collar workers have embraced hybrid and remote working as the new normal, and the rail industry faces an annual £2bn shortfall in revenue. While the population stayed at home during the pandemic, the government spent an extra £15bn to keep the network running. But as it turns the financial taps off and demands deep spending cuts, the government is in effect ordering the rail industry to cut its cloth according to these changed circumstances.

Understandably, given the high proportion of fixed costs involved in running a railway, the RMT’s leaders fear that their members will bear the brunt of this coming retrenchment. As well as a pay rise to reflect the impact of double-digit inflation – after a two-year freeze for many workers – the union is seeking to ensure that there are no compulsory redundancies among station staff and maintenance workers. The resounding vote to strike if necessary has strengthened the RMT’s hand. Its warnings about cutting corners on safety should be taken seriously, given previous disasters, though the benefits of new technologies should not be ruled out. On the other side of the table, Network Rail and the train operators are justified in arguing that changing patterns of rail usage may require more flexible working patterns. Compromises will be needed if levels of disruption not seen since the 1990s are to be avoided.

In the longer term, the government must decide what future it actually wants for the sector. Imposed cuts leading to less frequent, more crowded trains could trigger a spiral of decline. That would be utterly at odds with Whitehall’s levelling up agenda, which purportedly aims to boost and develop public transport infrastructure and services beyond south-east England. It would also undermine the vital role that the rail industry should play in the country’s transition to net zero. As a TUC study published this month argues, investment and imagination are needed during a crucial decade when a transition away from cars, not trains, is the priority.

One of the leading historians of our railways, Christian Wolmar, has written about the “inability of successive governments to set out precisely what they are for”. Should rail travel be treated as essentially a business like any other, or as a public good to be run – and subsidised – according to different criteria? Driven by a short-sighted determination to rein in spending following the pandemic, Mr Shapps is reverting to the former proposition. That could have lasting and damaging consequences. Our railways deserve better than a future of managed decline.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on May 29, 2022, 08:53:25 pm
That was in today’s Observer.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on May 29, 2022, 08:58:20 pm
That was in today’s Observer.

... too?

When it's published online, it's The Guardian. Which Is what I linked to.

(https://i.ibb.co/7NPfHrQ/Screenshot-2022-05-29-20-55-07-001-com-guardian.jpg)


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on May 29, 2022, 09:05:21 pm
Posted at 1830 today, so actually more likely to be tomorrow’s print edition of the Guardian.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on May 29, 2022, 09:09:34 pm
Posted at 1830 today, so actually more likely to be tomorrow’s print edition of the Guardian.

Unfortunately, I can't provide links to future physical print media. Would you like directions to the newsagents? :P


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Reading General on May 29, 2022, 10:09:42 pm
Yes, I agree.  Although I suspect ticket vending machines will also largely become a thing of the past in the coming years, as e-tickets/passes will quickly become established as the primary way of obtaining authority to travel.

What about the minority who are and I suspect will still be in the future unable or unwilling to use the internet?

It'll become a progressively smaller cohort - "unable" to use the internet will need to be properly catered for, but "unwilling"? I suggest that they will need to move with the times.

I’m not sure it’s a case of unwilling, more a case of the independence we have previously offered as an affluent country to those in different positions to the majority of us. Set up individuals and a coherent system so everyone can join in and I agree that we can positively progress in the way we live and operate, but assuming that some don’t swap to the technology leading society because they don’t want to move with the times is foolhardy. We must remember that it is largely privately funded technology and the private companies that adopt it leading the rapid change in culture and society nowadays, rather than authorities including the government. As often explained on this forum, even those in the know often see the flaws in automated systems and apps that don’t tell the full truth. So expecting everyone to be on board without a reasonable and negotiated period of inclusion isn’t particularly fair.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 30, 2022, 05:29:05 am
Yes, I agree.  Although I suspect ticket vending machines will also largely become a thing of the past in the coming years, as e-tickets/passes will quickly become established as the primary way of obtaining authority to travel.

What about the minority who are and I suspect will still be in the future unable or unwilling to use the internet?

It'll become a progressively smaller cohort - "unable" to use the internet will need to be properly catered for, but "unwilling"? I suggest that they will need to move with the times.

I’m not sure it’s a case of unwilling, more a case of the independence we have previously offered as an affluent country to those in different positions to the majority of us. Set up individuals and a coherent system so everyone can join in and I agree that we can positively progress in the way we live and operate, but assuming that some don’t swap to the technology leading society because they don’t want to move with the times is foolhardy. We must remember that it is largely privately funded technology and the private companies that adopt it leading the rapid change in culture and society nowadays, rather than authorities including the government. As often explained on this forum, even those in the know often see the flaws in automated systems and apps that don’t tell the full truth. So expecting everyone to be on board without a reasonable and negotiated period of inclusion isn’t particularly fair.

I didn't suggest that it was fair.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on May 30, 2022, 09:04:39 am
And are you saying that we haven’t had a @reasonable and negotiated period of inclusion” yet? How long dobyou suggest that would be?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Reading General on May 30, 2022, 10:23:29 am
I suggest that if private companies involved in something which is perceived as a public service want to change the way people use that service because new technology becomes available, then those companies make sure they are not excluding individuals who may not be able, as confident or have the money available to get involved in the technology. The railway isn’t retail, it is a huge aspect of some people’s lives, much like any other form of public transport. It isn’t the same as someone like McDonald’s deciding to use and automated system instead of more traditional means as it provides access. A reasonable and negotiated period should be as long as it takes for a rail operator to find out who is using the old, yet perhaps most simple to some, system of doing things, and then make sure those people have the means to continue to use the railway in the same way as the rest of us. You can let technology and markets lead retail, but everyday services heavily involved in people’s lives should require inclusion for everyone, so change should be scrutinised and not hurried through because the majority are doing things a new way. Having more than one system in place for people to use doesn’t much affect those using a new technology anyhow.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on May 30, 2022, 10:29:21 am
It does if it costs money to staff sales points? (Just making the point, not saying I'm in agreement)


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on May 30, 2022, 10:38:58 am
Posted at 1830 today, so actually more likely to be tomorrow’s print edition of the Guardian.

Unfortunately, I can't provide links to future physical print media. Would you like directions to the newsagents? :P

Here's the Observer piece (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/may/29/rail-staff-are-set-for-battle-but-a-post-covid-strike-could-run-off-track?utm_term=629319f393ce4381bb4022f44b328277&utm_campaign=GuardianTodayUK&utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&CMP=GTUK_email). You'll note it's on the Guardian website as that is who owns the paper & The Observer doesn't have it's own website

Quote
Rail staff are set for battle, but a post-Covid strike could run off track
The working-from-home revolution has altered the dynamics of industrial action on the transport network

The railway has long been quietly gearing up for what is being headlined as the biggest industrial battle in a generation. Now, with the weapon of a national strike ballot primed, the RMT rail union has to decide whether to pull the trigger.

Its national executive committee will discuss next steps in the coming days, after 40,000 members across Network Rail and 15 train operating companies voted overwhelmingly for action. For now, it is officially inviting more talks with train operating companies – a slightly perplexing stance for some in the industry, who said the RMT had jumped the gun before pay discussions had begun.

Nonetheless, many expect the first in what is likely to be a series of 24-hour stoppages to be called for late June. At an estimated daily cost of £30m, that will prove, as transport secretary Grant Shapps warned, damaging to an industry very much in recovery mode, but not necessarily a full-blown logistical crisis for the country, as some have suggested.

Senior rail figures looked on aghast as Shapps said ministers were considering limiting the right to strike – a move that inevitably inflamed unions. More thoughtful parts of government have been trying quietly to avoid conflict: bosses are drawing up contingency plans that will not work if all rail unions join the strike.

For the RMT, there is a significant dent in an otherwise unanimous vote, with Govia Thameslink Railway employees only backing action short of a strike. GTR contains three big commuter operations, Thameslink, Great Northern and Southern. The latter was the scene of bitter and prolonged strikes in 2016-17, a time when most of its customers were forced to come into London to work regardless.

Office staff are now proved well able to work from home – a change that will hugely reduce political pressure from MPs in the commuter belt to settle strikes at all costs. And without continuous strikes for more than 72 hours, there is little prospect of goods or power supplies being disrupted, despite dire warnings over the critical role of rail freight.

The Southern strikes are also a reminder that the RMT train staff alone were not enough, even then, to force a total stoppage – or to entirely halt the reforms they were fighting.

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The critical RMT weapon in any strike this time will be its 20,000 Network Rail members, including around 5,000 signallers, who would be able to stop large parts of the network running. But the newest parts of the railway – such as Thameslink and the intercity main lines – use digital signalling that can be operated by a handful of staff, allowing managers and non-RMT signallers to keep a limited service going.

Other unions may yet play a role, including the TSSA, which represents more of the middle management – including the contingency staff – and would have leverage in combined action. The train drivers’ union, Aslef, is unlikely to act before autumn – but as a dispute in Scotland shows, even the withdrawal of rest-day working can have a massive impact in an industry that has a dearth of drivers.

Yet the standoff does threaten to escalate. There is no obvious answer to the changing patterns of travel and lower revenue for the railway, which has so many fixed costs. One target could be the rolling stock companies, who have continued to make vast profits. But rail pay and productivity will come first – and the prospect of a quiet settlement, with the kind of index-linked pay rise normally enjoyed across all ranks, has receded with galloping inflation.

That makes the stakes higher for staff, whose wages are eroded, but also for ministers, who appear to be heeding – despite protestations – the Bank of England governor, Andrew Bailey, who urged pay restraint to curb inflation, despite the cost-of-living crisis.

The bigger immediate political headache may not be so much that the railway stalls – but that the outcome will be watched intently by other parts of the public sector, also desperate for a pay rise, who can wear the badge of pandemic frontline heroes with even more justification than railway staff.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Reading General on May 30, 2022, 12:05:10 pm
It does if it costs money to staff sales points? (Just making the point, not saying I'm in agreement)
Perhaps, but doing away with the old is of no benefit to those using the new. It is simply saving money for a private rail operator, the profit of which goes to shareholders. It’s not as if journeys will be overall improved for the majority using a new method by doing away with the old, or become cheaper as the public pocket isn’t supposed to be supporting it. Staff may not be of use to most on the modern railway but retaining them is a way of creating equal access. Transport should be under heavier scrutiny with changes as the alternatives for an individual may not exist, unlike retail where a different shop could be chosen.

Requiring continued investment, understanding and a charged battery of personal technology to go about everyday business may be the norm for most but not all, and we should all be on board with keeping options open for those people whom it isn’t the norm until we can come up with a way that everyone can use without playing catch up, and on public transport, a universal free card system for everything seems the most sensible option, even if that is to purchase a paper ticket.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on May 30, 2022, 12:28:18 pm
*Rant*

What point are you actually trying to prove with this needless pedantry over where, when and in what format the editorial I quoted was published? I saw it on the Guardian website, where it says its a Guardian editorial, and that's from where I linked and quoted.

I'm fully aware of the Guardian Media Group's setup, and the Observer's place in it. I also know that the Observer's business agenda (looking to the week ahead) is different to the groups' editorials. Hence why the piece you've quoted isn't the same ("That was in today's Observer") as the one I posted.

*Rant over*

Perhaps back to the actually topic of the looming strikes Chris? ::)



Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on May 30, 2022, 12:34:12 pm

Perhaps, but doing away with the old is of no benefit to those using the new.

It is, if the alternative, now that costs are being paid directly by the taxpayer, is reduction in services to achieve the savings required. Are you suggesting that the taxpayer should pump £1.5billion a year into the railways so as you retain things as currently?

Quote
It is simply saving money for a private rail operator, the profit of which goes to shareholders.

Get with the times? The operators now are paid a management fee, and costs and revenue pass to the taxpayer. So the 'profit' you refer to evaporates, turning into a £1.5billion / year loss. That's unsustainable, surely.

What's your suggestion then, if your plan would be to retain all the staff?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on May 30, 2022, 12:37:21 pm
*Rant*

What point are you actually trying to prove with this needless pedantry over where, when and in what format the editorial I quoted was published? I saw it on the Guardian website, where it says its a Guardian editorial, and that's from where I linked and quoted.

I'm fully aware of the Guardian Media Group's setup, and the Observer's place in it. I also know that the Observer's business agenda (looking to the week ahead) is different to the groups' editorials. Hence why the piece you've quoted isn't the same ("That was in today's Observer") as the one I posted.
*Rant over*

Posted at 1830 today, so actually more likely to be tomorrow’s print edition of the Guardian.

I corrected myself, so not sure why you needed that rant?

It is indeed.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Reading General on May 30, 2022, 01:13:31 pm

Perhaps, but doing away with the old is of no benefit to those using the new.

It is, if the alternative, now that costs are being paid directly by the taxpayer, is reduction in services to achieve the savings required. Are you suggesting that the taxpayer should pump £1.5billion a year into the railways so as you retain things as currently?

Quote
It is simply saving money for a private rail operator, the profit of which goes to shareholders.

Get with the times? The operators now are paid a management fee, and costs and revenue pass to the taxpayer. So the 'profit' you refer to evaporates, turning into a £1.5billion / year loss. That's unsustainable, surely.

What's your suggestion then, if your plan would be to retain all the staff?

Yes. Retain the staff and the public should fund a railway for everyone all over the country. Defund and reduce the railway now and it won’t be coming back. The railway is of economic significance to this country even if it’s not noticeable to the operators or the, referred to as a minority, taxpayer. Yes, less people are travelling to work, largely in London, each day but reducing staff and costs now under the impression that the railway is always going to have this level of passengers is short term for profit thinking and excluding more people. This is an opportunity to build a railway for everyone, promised by this ludicrous government. You drop staff and services now and you will require incentive and demand to get the same services back when things change. The bargaining price suggested that the public will pay is nothing more than the bribery that will be used as an excuse to release more of it into the private sector and make it a consumer choice rather than what should be a life necessity. Nobody ever questions the cost of the tarmac and road infrastructure which covers this country as it’s recognised that its benefits are beyond the price of repair. Perhaps we should consider privatising roads.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on May 30, 2022, 02:07:16 pm

Perhaps, but doing away with the old is of no benefit to those using the new.

It is, if the alternative, now that costs are being paid directly by the taxpayer, is reduction in services to achieve the savings required. Are you suggesting that the taxpayer should pump £1.5billion a year into the railways so as you retain things as currently?

Quote
It is simply saving money for a private rail operator, the profit of which goes to shareholders.

Get with the times? The operators now are paid a management fee, and costs and revenue pass to the taxpayer. So the 'profit' you refer to evaporates, turning into a £1.5billion / year loss. That's unsustainable, surely.

What's your suggestion then, if your plan would be to retain all the staff?

Yes. Retain the staff and the public should fund a railway for everyone all over the country. Defund and reduce the railway now and it won’t be coming back. The railway is of economic significance to this country even if it’s not noticeable to the operators or the, referred to as a minority, taxpayer. Yes, less people are travelling to work, largely in London, each day but reducing staff and costs now under the impression that the railway is always going to have this level of passengers is short term for profit thinking and excluding more people. This is an opportunity to build a railway for everyone, promised by this ludicrous government. You drop staff and services now and you will require incentive and demand to get the same services back when things change. The bargaining price suggested that the public will pay is nothing more than the bribery that will be used as an excuse to release more of it into the private sector and make it a consumer choice rather than what should be a life necessity. Nobody ever questions the cost of the tarmac and road infrastructure which covers this country as it’s recognised that its benefits are beyond the price of repair. Perhaps we should consider privatising roads.

You are Mick Lynch and I claim my £5!

(Or 10% pay rise & guarantee of no redundancies ever!)

 ;)


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: CyclingSid on May 31, 2022, 06:55:42 am
Quote
is a way of creating equal access.
Sounds like the levelling up agenda. Call for Mr Gove.

Quote
You drop staff and services now
I believe the airlines have had problems with this sort of thing.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ellendune on May 31, 2022, 04:47:40 pm
It is easy to blame this all on the RMT leadership, but you don't get that sort of result in a ballot unless there is an awful lot if discontent among staff. If there is then it needs fixing. Unfortunately the treasury is now running the railways (by which I probably mean treasury minsters) and on past record they understand less about managing people than they do about engineering.  They do not understand that if you treat people well you can get away with paying them less. 

Of course they want people to leave to cut costs, but they don't understand that this approach usually means that the wrong people leave. You then end up with the wrong mix of staff. You also end up paying your worst people more than you need to do the job badly because there is no on else to do the job.  They are still discontented and therefore treat ordinary passengers in the same way that management treat them. 


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: DaveHarries on May 31, 2022, 07:45:12 pm
I am not a rail sector employee but if I had been then I would also have voted no to taking strike action. As it is I work in the automotive sector. I suspect, without knowing for sure, that there are union members among my colleagues. Do we get decent pay rises every year? No. Do we have decent T&C? No. Do we go on strike over it? No.

As it is my colleagues and I rely on rail for getting between jobs that we are assigned and between those jobs and the depots we work from. Having chatted with my driving colleagues in the depot I work from over the last few days it is safe to say that there is very little or no backing among us to the RMT's planned action. It might be easy to blame the TOCs for the fact that the strike is on the cards (which some people might do) but it is the RMT members' decision that this is on the cards, not that of the TOCs.

Dave


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 01, 2022, 05:42:48 am
It is easy to blame this all on the RMT leadership, but you don't get that sort of result in a ballot unless there is an awful lot if discontent among staff. If there is then it needs fixing. Unfortunately the treasury is now running the railways (by which I probably mean treasury minsters) and on past record they understand less about managing people than they do about engineering.  They do not understand that if you treat people well you can get away with paying them less. 

Of course they want people to leave to cut costs, but they don't understand that this approach usually means that the wrong people leave. You then end up with the wrong mix of staff. You also end up paying your worst people more than you need to do the job badly because there is no on else to do the job.  They are still discontented and therefore treat ordinary passengers in the same way that management treat them. 

Parking the rhetoric, I'd be interested in your thoughts as to whether the RMT's headline demands are realistic in the current climate - substantively, a pay rise approaching double figures, and guarantees of no compulsory redundancies?

With the taxpayer having pumped £billions into the railways over the course of the pandemic, from where do you consider these additional costs should be funded, given falling passenger numbers, demand and therefore revenue?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on June 01, 2022, 06:45:12 am
It is easy to blame this all on the RMT leadership, but you don't get that sort of result in a ballot unless there is an awful lot if discontent among staff. If there is then it needs fixing. Unfortunately the treasury is now running the railways (by which I probably mean treasury minsters) and on past record they understand less about managing people than they do about engineering.  They do not understand that if you treat people well you can get away with paying them less. 

Of course they want people to leave to cut costs, but they don't understand that this approach usually means that the wrong people leave. You then end up with the wrong mix of staff. You also end up paying your worst people more than you need to do the job badly because there is no on else to do the job.  They are still discontented and therefore treat ordinary passengers in the same way that management treat them. 

Parking the rhetoric, I'd be interested in your thoughts as to whether the RMT's headline demands are realistic in the current climate - substantively, a pay rise approaching double figures, and guarantees of no compulsory redundancies?

With the taxpayer having pumped £billions into the railways over the course of the pandemic, from where do you consider these additional costs should be funded, given falling passenger numbers, demand and therefore revenue?

Negotiations are (or should be) about reaching a compromise between the 2 sides demands.  The thing that will hamper the compromise will be the Government's hand cuffs placed on the Rail Industries Exc leadership teams.

With all the other travel chaos currently the Unions may see they have an advantage with the public discontent with the issues ant sea and air ports, that is an advantage for the Unions and their members and not for the travelling public but such is the nature of industrial disputes


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 01, 2022, 11:34:20 am
The general feeling amongst people working for the TOCs I've spoken to is that a 4-5% increase is acceptable.  The main beef is the alleged prevention from the DfT to the operators and NR of opening pay discussions after 2 or 3 years of no increases and the cost of living crisis.

The RMT ballot result, with such a strong mandate (much stronger than I thought it would be), sends a very clear message to the DfT that staff won't 'roll over' and accept peanuts or nothing.  And, naturally, the Union want a commitment to prevent compulsory redundancies.

It looks like an ASLEF ballot along similar lines will be taking place over the next couple of weeks.

Doesn't mean a strike will happen (though it is quite likely).  Definitely doesn't mean the RMT's demands will be even close to being met and the end of the 'dispute'.  As ET says, they hardly ever are...that's negotiating.  Perhaps haggling is a better word!


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: GBM on June 01, 2022, 12:50:19 pm
I've always felt that being a union member is a good idea.
The few ballots I've been involved in, only one resulted in a strike.
We didn't want to inconvenience the travelling public, well, we actually hated the idea.
Negotiations were stalemated, so out we went for 48 hours.

The option was not to strike, and accept a far lower pay settlement and a change to working conditions to our detriment.
But from some views above, that is better than striking.
If we had accepted a lower settlement, etc; then the following year we would be accepting a lower settlement again, and a change to working conditions.  That seems a race to the bottom.  We would soon be on minimum wage & dreadful working conditions, but hey, we could hold our heads up and say we didn't inconvenience anyone but ourselves.

Apart from ACAS, there's little middle ground.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on June 01, 2022, 02:12:24 pm
When did negotiations begin? From what I can gather the RMT balloted for strike action before any meaningful discussions began. Arse about face surely?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 01, 2022, 03:07:40 pm
When did negotiations begin? From what I can gather the RMT balloted for strike action before any meaningful discussions began. Arse about face surely?

The unions claim that the DfT would not allow train operators to open negotiations with them I believe.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on June 01, 2022, 05:57:17 pm
When did negotiations begin? From what I can gather the RMT balloted for strike action before any meaningful discussions began. Arse about face surely?

The unions claim that the DfT would not allow train operators to open negotiations with them I believe.

A belief? Any corroboration?

Last week the DfT urged the RMT to come to the negotiating table. Saying they were disappointed that the RMT had balloted for strike action before entering negotiations. Someone's lying. Much as I loathe the current government I believe them in this instance.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on June 01, 2022, 07:49:20 pm
When did negotiations begin? From what I can gather the RMT balloted for strike action before any meaningful discussions began. Arse about face surely?

The unions claim that the DfT would not allow train operators to open negotiations with them I believe.

The same applied to Network Rail ......... DfT and No10 steer was any pay award has to be on 'efficiencies' above and beyond the 'Modernisation of the Industry' process that is currently ongoing

However it would seem that NR (aka DfT / No10) have made a 2.5% pay offer from 1st July 2022 to the TSSA for management grades, the TSSA have said this offer does not resolve the dispute ..................... negotiations / haggling continues


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on June 01, 2022, 08:10:19 pm
However it would seem that NR (aka DfT / No10) have made a 2.5% pay offer from 1st July 2022 to the TSSA for management grades, the TSSA have said this offer does not resolve the dispute ..................... negotiations / haggling continues

Good to see at least one rail union doing things correctly and negotiating before resorting to a strike ballot. I expect ASLEF will be/are doing the same.



Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 01, 2022, 08:18:25 pm
A belief? Any corroboration?

Last week the DfT urged the RMT to come to the negotiating table. Saying they were disappointed that the RMT had balloted for strike action before entering negotiations. Someone's lying. Much as I loathe the current government I believe them in this instance.

Only what I’ve heard (hence my wording).  Though I’ve heard it straight from the mouth of a union branch secretary.

The RMT have been at the negotiating table subsequent to the ballot result.  What is unclear is what offer to negotiate took place from either party before the ballot.

I believe (there I go again) that ASLEF are balloting in the next few days.

I’m not sure I believe either side, especially given the sneaky way the DfT have been operating recently.  In many ways they’re welcome to each other.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 02, 2022, 08:03:15 am
A belief? Any corroboration?

Last week the DfT urged the RMT to come to the negotiating table. Saying they were disappointed that the RMT had balloted for strike action before entering negotiations. Someone's lying. Much as I loathe the current government I believe them in this instance.

Only what I’ve heard (hence my wording).  Though I’ve heard it straight from the mouth of a union branch secretary.

The RMT have been at the negotiating table subsequent to the ballot result.  What is unclear is what offer to negotiate took place from either party before the ballot.

I believe (there I go again) that ASLEF are balloting in the next few days.

I’m not sure I believe either side, especially given the sneaky way the DfT have been operating recently.  In many ways they’re welcome to each other.

ASLEF rejected 4.2% from Scotrail yesterday.

RDG, NR and DfT have all confirmed that the RMT balloted for strike action/action short of a strike without engaging in meaningful discussions first.

Important to remember that Lynch, Gordon, Dempsey and the rest of them have a political agenda which somewhat transcends the accepted norms in this respect, which whilst often strained, could at least be constructive.

A look at the RMT's political affiliations is quite enlightening.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on June 02, 2022, 09:41:55 am
However it would seem that NR (aka DfT / No10) have made a 2.5% pay offer from 1st July 2022 to the TSSA for management grades, the TSSA have said this offer does not resolve the dispute ..................... negotiations / haggling continues

Good to see at least one rail union doing things correctly and negotiating before resorting to a strike ballot. I expect ASLEF will be/are doing the same.



The TSSA did hold a strike ballot which came out as resounding yes vote


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ellendune on June 02, 2022, 11:57:25 am
RDG, NR and DfT have all confirmed that the RMT balloted for strike action/action short of a strike without engaging in meaningful discussions first.
Who decides what is meaningful?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: stuving on June 02, 2022, 01:09:52 pm
RDG, NR and DfT have all confirmed that the RMT balloted for strike action/action short of a strike without engaging in meaningful discussions first.
Who decides what is meaningful?

Quite. I imagine that the employers will say "we've been trying to negotiate for some time" and the unions will say "DfT's instructions have taken so much off the table that no real negotiation is possible".


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 02, 2022, 03:03:43 pm
RDG, NR and DfT have all confirmed that the RMT balloted for strike action/action short of a strike without engaging in meaningful discussions first.

Makes it sound like the RMT weren't interested in meaningful discussions, doesn't it?  However, Nigel Harris, editor of RAIL magazine, says in a very good latest editorial that the DfT only gave Network Rail permission to start formal discussions with the unions less than a week before the RMT ballot result was in.

Why weren't they given permission earlier I wonder?

Anyway, now discussions are ongoing, hopefully a resolution can be found that avoids widespread strikes.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on June 02, 2022, 04:26:44 pm
RDG, NR and DfT have all confirmed that the RMT balloted for strike action/action short of a strike without engaging in meaningful discussions first.

Makes it sound like the RMT weren't interested in meaningful discussions, doesn't it?  However, Nigel Harris, editor of RAIL magazine, says in a very good latest editorial that the DfT only gave Network Rail permission to start formal discussions with the unions less than a week before the RMT ballot result was in.

Why weren't they given permission earlier I wonder?

Anyway, now discussions are ongoing, hopefully a resolution can be found that avoids widespread strikes.

Absolutely correct, NR Exc started talks with the Unions several months ago but there were no firm proposals put before the Unions by the Exc, the phase was 'we are just looking at ideas and want staff involvement' it was this approach ie no firm proposals that got the Unions and their members backs up.  There are normally good but robust relations between NR Exc and the Unions


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 02, 2022, 09:02:25 pm
RDG, NR and DfT have all confirmed that the RMT balloted for strike action/action short of a strike without engaging in meaningful discussions first.

Makes it sound like the RMT weren't interested in meaningful discussions, doesn't it?  However, Nigel Harris, editor of RAIL magazine, says in a very good latest editorial that the DfT only gave Network Rail permission to start formal discussions with the unions less than a week before the RMT ballot result was in.

Why weren't they given permission earlier I wonder?

Anyway, now discussions are ongoing, hopefully a resolution can be found that avoids widespread strikes.

Absolutely correct, NR Exc started talks with the Unions several months ago but there were no firm proposals put before the Unions by the Exc, the phase was 'we are just looking at ideas and want staff involvement' it was this approach ie no firm proposals that got the Unions and their members backs up.  There are normally good but robust relations between NR Exc and the Unions

Do you have a citation/source for that?

It'd certainly help the RMT's case if verified.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: jbsdjr on June 03, 2022, 11:28:49 am
The key issue for me (and I suspect if the truth is known  Mark Hopwood and his teams) is the current stranglehold on GWER services that the DfT have as a result of not yet allowing Mark asnd his teams to operate without their heavy hand.  Thus they could tell Mark that he must shut every booking office across the GWR system (and that is a real threat) as they told GWR to get rid pof the through trains to Brighton (on the stupid premise that people didn't travel all the way to Great Malvern from Brighton). Coupled with telling SWR that the Bristol to London through trains should be scrapped, the DfT (who clearly know little or nothing about transport) are simply as one RAIL magazine writer stated "timkering at the edges".  we know for a fact that 50 people had to be turned away from the GWR Brighton train whoich showed its popularity and it was significant that SWR managers (because they knew full well it would undermine the DfT's case chose not to reinstate the most popular early morning rain of the day from Bristol.  When there is an nexistential threat to hard working an much needed station staff it is little wonder the RMT had such a resounding yes and I don't blame them at all.  It will be interesting to see whether the local MPs pay lip service to the threat of staff redundancies in their patch and complain in the full knowledge that the cuts will go through or whether they are prepared to save their less than safe seats (for example that of Michelle Donelan) by actually doing something to stop the proposed cuts.  It would be ironic if staff cuts end in their own tenure as an MP being cut.  We shall see.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: grahame on June 03, 2022, 11:56:05 am
The key issue for me ....

Welcome to the Coffee Shop forum and your first post.   You are, I think personally, pretty accurate for the most part in the analysis - and if we all accept that, it leads to questions such as:

* Why are the DfT being so heavy handed, and in the direction they are going?

* How can we as passengers, and passenger group / campaigners best help those who see things differently to the DfT  organisation's steer where we feel it is to the detriment of current and future public transport use


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on June 03, 2022, 05:57:22 pm
RDG, NR and DfT have all confirmed that the RMT balloted for strike action/action short of a strike without engaging in meaningful discussions first.

Makes it sound like the RMT weren't interested in meaningful discussions, doesn't it?  However, Nigel Harris, editor of RAIL magazine, says in a very good latest editorial that the DfT only gave Network Rail permission to start formal discussions with the unions less than a week before the RMT ballot result was in.

Why weren't they given permission earlier I wonder?

Anyway, now discussions are ongoing, hopefully a resolution can be found that avoids widespread strikes.

Absolutely correct, NR Exc started talks with the Unions several months ago but there were no firm proposals put before the Unions by the Exc, the phase was 'we are just looking at ideas and want staff involvement' it was this approach ie no firm proposals that got the Unions and their members backs up.  There are normally good but robust relations between NR Exc and the Unions

Do you have a citation/source for that?

It'd certainly help the RMT's case if verified.

The RMT and the other Unions know this they do not need a citation as the Excu teams negotiating position has been stated to them and appears in internal comms


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: GBM on June 03, 2022, 06:29:47 pm
The key issue for me (and I suspect if the truth is known  Mark Hopwood and his teams) is the current stranglehold on GWER services that the ..................


Again, unless something can be confirmed in print, it's the union at fault, and they should totally accept whatever pay and conditions are given (offered!) without question. Well, OK, perhaps say "We don't like what's on offer, and it is a pay cut, with having to work more hours as well. But we won't strike, and accept it this time without further problems".

Why is it always the unions fault?  Nothing to do with the members who it seems, are so brainwashed/right wing, that they will do anything they are told by the branch secretary.

Everyone has a view of who is right and who is therefore wrong.
Like politics really.



Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: DaveHarries on June 03, 2022, 07:27:34 pm
ASLEF rejected 4.2% from Scotrail yesterday.
SOunds high enough to me: how much are they holding out for?

Dave


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ellendune on June 03, 2022, 08:35:23 pm
Again, unless something can be confirmed in print, it's the union at fault,

Why?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on June 03, 2022, 09:49:44 pm
The key issue for me (and I suspect if the truth is known  Mark Hopwood and his teams) is the current stranglehold on GWER services that the ..................


Again, unless something can be confirmed in print, it's the union at fault, and they should totally accept whatever pay and conditions are given (offered!) without question. Well, OK, perhaps say "We don't like what's on offer, and it is a pay cut, with having to work more hours as well. But we won't strike, and accept it this time without further problems".

Why is it always the unions fault?  Nothing to do with the members who it seems, are so brainwashed/right wing, that they will do anything they are told by the branch secretary.

Everyone has a view of who is right and who is therefore wrong.
Like politics really.



That is not how modern day Trade Unions operate, the days of mass votes in the car at Longridge of the 1970's are long gone.

First the members get information from many sources, the company, the Unions and the multitude of media.

The disgruntlement within the Rail Industry at this moment in time spans from the basic grade to the senior managers and across all the various rolls in the industry.

The prime example of how the Government is dealing with travel issues at the moment is in the airline industry where the Government (Shaps) is blaming the airlines for overbooking!!!!!!!

 


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 04, 2022, 07:51:46 am
The key issue for me (and I suspect if the truth is known  Mark Hopwood and his teams) is the current stranglehold on GWER services that the ..................


Again, unless something can be confirmed in print, it's the union at fault, and they should totally accept whatever pay and conditions are given (offered!) without question. Well, OK, perhaps say "We don't like what's on offer, and it is a pay cut, with having to work more hours as well. But we won't strike, and accept it this time without further problems".

Why is it always the unions fault?  Nothing to do with the members who it seems, are so brainwashed/right wing, that they will do anything they are told by the branch secretary.

Everyone has a view of who is right and who is therefore wrong.
Like politics really.



That is not how modern day Trade Unions operate, the days of mass votes in the car at Longridge of the 1970's are long gone.


 

Given that most of those carparks and the huge temples to nationalised industry which they served are now long gone, (coal, steel, shipbuilding, British Leyland and the like), largely thanks to chronic inefficiency and militant trade unionism I am sure the irony within that comment has not escaped you!  ;)


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 04, 2022, 11:14:49 am
ASLEF rejected 4.2% from Scotrail yesterday.
SOunds high enough to me: how much are they holding out for?

An offer that was not put to the membership AIUI?  Ballots cost a lot of money of course, but I'm slightly surprised that this wasn't put out to the vote.

It wasn't a simple 4.2% rise mind you, there were 'strings attached'.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 05, 2022, 07:30:06 am
ASLEF rejected 4.2% from Scotrail yesterday.
SOunds high enough to me: how much are they holding out for?

An offer that was not put to the membership AIUI?  Ballots cost a lot of money of course, but I'm slightly surprised that this wasn't put out to the vote.

It wasn't a simple 4.2% rise mind you, there were 'strings attached'.

Happy to be corrected but from what I understand it was 4.2% payrise, no compulsory redundancies for 3 years, Sundays within the working week within 5 years, and I believe there were improved allowances for weekend working on offer too?

Scotrail drivers once qualified currently earn 50k+

I wonder if perhaps ASLEF were a little worried that their members would accept it, so made their decision for them instead?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 05, 2022, 10:02:16 am
I wonder if perhaps ASLEF were a little worried that their members would accept it, so made their decision for them instead?

That’s quite possible.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on June 06, 2022, 06:23:36 am
Neither side in this dispute is covering themselves in glory.

It's something of a shame that we appear to have a competent, if somewhat ideological, Secretary of State for Transport at the moment, rather than the useless ones of yore.

That doesn't bode well for the RMT and it's members. They may come to regret picking the fight.

However, there's a chance we'll return to situation normal at the DfT, should the ambitious Shapps either do well in a leadership contest or be rewarded for loyalty to the PM (Party Meister) should the PM survive a confidence vote. Either way, I think Shapps is headed for one of the 'big four' cabinet positions.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: stuving on June 06, 2022, 07:32:41 pm
I wonder if perhaps ASLEF were a little worried that their members would accept it, so made their decision for them instead?

That’s quite possible.

Though the answer to the earlier question about "how much are they holding out for" is apparently "not much":
Quote
Train drivers are close to reaching an agreement with ScotRail despite rejecting its latest 4.2% pay offer, the Aslef union has said.

Scottish organiser Kevin Lindsay said more talks with the rail operator would take place on Monday.


I saw that last week and then could not refind it, but it was from the BBC, and who have an update (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-61698822) following those talks today. He's still saying much the same, though with one added caveat.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Henry on June 07, 2022, 05:02:32 pm
 
  21, 23, and 25  June.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Timmer on June 07, 2022, 05:13:58 pm
21, 23, and 25  June.
Basically taking out five days of rail travel as the train companies won’t be able to run any usable services on the 22nd and 24th if the RMT are able to bring the network to a near total shutdown on the 21st.

Actually, make it six as we all know what happens on Sundays!


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 07, 2022, 05:16:14 pm
21, 23, and 25  June.
Basically taking out five days of rail travel as the train companies won’t be able to run any usable services on the 22nd and 24th if the RMT are able to bring the network to a near total shutdown on the 21st.

Actually, make it six as we all know what happens on Sundays!

That'll make Glastonbury interesting for GWR.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: JayMac on June 07, 2022, 05:58:35 pm
Whilst it may lead to further disruption in the short term I do hope TOCs/NR suspend overtime and rest day working during the dispute. If employees want to withdraw their labour then they shouldn't be given the opportunity to make up for lost earnings.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Henry on June 07, 2022, 06:56:30 pm
Whilst it may lead to further disruption in the short term I do hope TOCs/NR suspend overtime and rest day working during the dispute. If employees want to withdraw their labour then they shouldn't be given the opportunity to make up for lost earnings.

 Obviously that will include every Sunday for the next few months.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Timmer on June 07, 2022, 07:09:48 pm
Obviously that will include every Sunday for the next few months.
Pretty much given up travelling on weekends as I’m fed up with the chance the train you plan to catch is cancelled or the one before is leading to it being rammed full. Worse if it turns up as a five car set.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 08, 2022, 11:39:50 am
Basically taking out five days of rail travel as the train companies won’t be able to run any usable services on the 22nd and 24th if the RMT are able to bring the network to a near total shutdown on the 21st.

I should imagine a reasonable level of service will be provided in the days between the announced dates as it’s a ‘midnight to midnight’ strike and not a ‘midday to midday’ one.  We should be grateful of that I suppose as three days of action really would mess up the service on the intermediate days.  I wonder why they didn’t?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: PhilWakely on June 08, 2022, 03:42:20 pm
Whilst it may lead to further disruption in the short term I do hope TOCs/NR suspend overtime and rest day working during the dispute. If employees want to withdraw their labour then they shouldn't be given the opportunity to make up for lost earnings.

I'm actually surprised that the RMT didn't opt for 'Action short of a strike' (i.e an overtime and rest day working ban) as that would have been far more effective as it is not so easy to plan against. More trains would run so the public wouldn't be quite so inconvenienced and it would not generate as much negative publicity.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 08, 2022, 06:12:51 pm
Whilst it may lead to further disruption in the short term I do hope TOCs/NR suspend overtime and rest day working during the dispute. If employees want to withdraw their labour then they shouldn't be given the opportunity to make up for lost earnings.

I'm actually surprised that the RMT didn't opt for 'Action short of a strike' (i.e an overtime and rest day working ban) as that would have been far more effective as it is not so easy to plan against. More trains would run so the public wouldn't be quite so inconvenienced and it would not generate as much negative publicity.

Not dramatic enough for Lynch and his mob (see what I did there? ;-) ), their political agenda wants and needs the visible confrontation.

Negative publicity isn't something that bothers them, having just heard Lynch ranting on the BBC that much is clear.

There are many decent Trade Unionists who do a vital job. Sadly the RMT Leadership are not amongst them.

They will fail, and they may well drag their industry and their members down with them.



Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on June 11, 2022, 07:06:22 pm
Whilst it may lead to further disruption in the short term I do hope TOCs/NR suspend overtime and rest day working during the dispute. If employees want to withdraw their labour then they shouldn't be given the opportunity to make up for lost earnings.

I'm actually surprised that the RMT didn't opt for 'Action short of a strike' (i.e an overtime and rest day working ban) as that would have been far more effective as it is not so easy to plan against. More trains would run so the public wouldn't be quite so inconvenienced and it would not generate as much negative publicity.

Not dramatic enough for Lynch and his mob (see what I did there? ;-) ), their political agenda wants and needs the visible confrontation.

Negative publicity isn't something that bothers them, having just heard Lynch ranting on the BBC that much is clear.

There are many decent Trade Unionists who do a vital job. Sadly the RMT Leadership are not amongst them.

They will fail, and they may well drag their industry and their members down with them.



The Union's are going to use the ongoing trouble at air and sea ports during the summer holidays to their advantage, especially as the Government are sitting on the hands regarding the problems with airlines etc blaming overbooking as the problem ..................


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on June 11, 2022, 08:16:48 pm
Whilst it may lead to further disruption in the short term I do hope TOCs/NR suspend overtime and rest day working during the dispute. If employees want to withdraw their labour then they shouldn't be given the opportunity to make up for lost earnings.

I'm actually surprised that the RMT didn't opt for 'Action short of a strike' (i.e an overtime and rest day working ban) as that would have been far more effective as it is not so easy to plan against. More trains would run so the public wouldn't be quite so inconvenienced and it would not generate as much negative publicity.

Not dramatic enough for Lynch and his mob (see what I did there? ;-) ), their political agenda wants and needs the visible confrontation.

Negative publicity isn't something that bothers them, having just heard Lynch ranting on the BBC that much is clear.

There are many decent Trade Unionists who do a vital job. Sadly the RMT Leadership are not amongst them.

They will fail, and they may well drag their industry and their members down with them.



The Union's are going to use the ongoing trouble at air and sea ports during the summer holidays to their advantage, especially as the Government are sitting on the hands regarding the problems with airlines etc blaming overbooking as the problem ..................


I don't see how it's to the RMT's advantage.

Most people are informed enough to understand the difference between the reasons for and problems caused by staff shortages at airports and striking railway employees, and the various owners of responsibility for each.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on June 11, 2022, 08:27:22 pm
Whilst it may lead to further disruption in the short term I do hope TOCs/NR suspend overtime and rest day working during the dispute. If employees want to withdraw their labour then they shouldn't be given the opportunity to make up for lost earnings.

I'm actually surprised that the RMT didn't opt for 'Action short of a strike' (i.e an overtime and rest day working ban) as that would have been far more effective as it is not so easy to plan against. More trains would run so the public wouldn't be quite so inconvenienced and it would not generate as much negative publicity.

Not dramatic enough for Lynch and his mob (see what I did there? ;-) ), their political agenda wants and needs the visible confrontation.

Negative publicity isn't something that bothers them, having just heard Lynch ranting on the BBC that much is clear.

There are many decent Trade Unionists who do a vital job. Sadly the RMT Leadership are not amongst them.

They will fail, and they may well drag their industry and their members down with them.



The Union's are going to use the ongoing trouble at air and sea ports during the summer holidays to their advantage, especially as the Government are sitting on the hands regarding the problems with airlines etc blaming overbooking as the problem ..................


I don't see how it's to the RMT's advantage.

Most people are informed enough to understand the difference between the reasons for and problems caused by staff shortages at airports and striking railway employees, and the various owners of responsibility for each.

Ah but you see I am not talking about the reasonable average person on the Clapton Omnibus, the folks that have no rhyme or reason live in Westminster village ie the media and politicos


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: broadgage on June 12, 2022, 05:38:17 am
"Agency staff could be used in place of strikers" According to press reports, the government are considering repealing a law that, at present prohibits use of agency workers to replace strikers.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61773437 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61773437)


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on June 12, 2022, 07:27:33 am
"Agency staff could be used in place of strikers" According to press reports, the government are considering repealing a law that, at present prohibits use of agency workers to replace strikers.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61773437 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61773437)

This could lead to a real mess, if the dispute turns into attrition the Union's could start to 'black' anything operated, worked on, used ect by contractors, the employers would then threaten disciplinary which could result in walkouts like I side very messy.  The use of contractors will put many mangers in an awkward position as they will still have to interact with their teams when there are no strikes.

The Union's will use the 'P&O Ferries' inference against the Government and employers


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Timmer on June 12, 2022, 07:36:35 am
"Agency staff could be used in place of strikers" According to press reports, the government are considering repealing a law that, at present prohibits use of agency workers to replace strikers.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61773437 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61773437)
That won’t end well if they do.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ellendune on June 12, 2022, 08:14:42 am
Not sure where they are going to find drivers with appropriate and up to date traction and route knowledge.  If they are going to use staff without that knowledge I am not going anywhere near a train. 


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: broadgage on June 12, 2022, 09:00:17 am
Not sure wherethey are going to find drivers with appropriate and up to date traction and route knowledge.  If they are going to use staff without that knowledge I am not going anywhere near a train. 

I agree, but I suspect that they were not thinking of drivers.
Platform staff, gateline staff, extra person needed on a 10 car IET, and the like.
Unless of course it is a really long strike in which case they could train drivers.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: stuving on June 12, 2022, 10:51:34 am
Not sure wherethey are going to find drivers with appropriate and up to date traction and route knowledge.  If they are going to use staff without that knowledge I am not going anywhere near a train. 

I agree, but I suspect that they were not thinking of drivers.
Platform staff, gateline staff, extra person needed on a 10 car IET, and the like.
Unless of course it is a really long strike in which case they could train drivers.

From Friday's Times:
Quote
A source close to the Aslef union insisted that its actions were not comparable with the RMT. "It is a different kind of union," the source said. "The RMT feel they are under an existential threat, which I understand, and they are striking to protect their members' jobs.
"What Aslef is doing is completely different. There are no redundancies of drivers proposed in any of the train operating companies. For the drivers it's simply about pay as many of them haven't had an increase since 2019."


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: eightf48544 on June 12, 2022, 11:48:49 am
Whatever the merits of the unions case it seems to me that the government would welcome  the strikes as an excuse to down size the railways and decrease the deficit. 

It reminds me of the prelude to the 1984 of the miners strike

It's going to get messy.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Electric train on June 12, 2022, 08:44:38 pm
Not sure wherethey are going to find drivers with appropriate and up to date traction and route knowledge.  If they are going to use staff without that knowledge I am not going anywhere near a train. 

I agree, but I suspect that they were not thinking of drivers.
Platform staff, gateline staff, extra person needed on a 10 car IET, and the like.
Unless of course it is a really long strike in which case they could train drivers.

You are forgetting NR signallers, Electrical Control Room staff, Mobile Ops staff etc. there are not contractors that supply these skills 

There are some tasks that maintenance do that potentially could be done by contractors but even this will be difficult to cover for example many S&T contractors do not hold SMTH, the same fof a number of PWay maintenance competencies, OLE maintenance competencies, Electrical Power maintenance competencies.

All of the above are maintenance competency are a requirement of the ORR (the railway equivalent of the HSE) for NR to operate a railway, so unless the Government overwrite these requirements it could be difficult to bring in contractors. 

It is political hype on the part of the Government, the Unions know this and I suspect senior Exc leaders know it as well


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 13, 2022, 08:33:12 pm
Here we go again.......

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-62154070


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Clan Line on July 15, 2022, 10:59:51 am
I am starting to get the feeling that the railway strikes are not having the huge effects that the Unions hoped/predicted. The media are trying to hype things up as much as possible (as expected) but the general public doesn't seem that bothered.
Two years of Covid disruption and all that went with it seem to have taught the public/business/industry how to get by reasonably well, with or without a "normal" train service. In fact many people are relishing the opportunity to "work from home" again. Perhaps Arthur Scargill appearing on the picket line was not a good omen for the RMT.......he called an all out strike at completely the wrong time too. 


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 15, 2022, 11:16:09 am
Bit too early to say either way if you ask me.  Mick Lynch was widely admired for his media performance - totally nullifying even the most seasoned journalist - and doing his cause no harm at all.  But the longer it goes on…


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on July 15, 2022, 12:11:11 pm
The RPI% for next year’s fare rise calculation is this months inflation figure, released just before those August dates….

Govt will use this to full effect, blaming unions for forcing the full RPI% (or even RPI+1%!) if they have to settle for inflation or inflation+ pay rises. Where they may choose not to inplement in full if they can keep the wage rises lower.



Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Clan Line on July 15, 2022, 02:45:22 pm
Mick Lynch was widely admired for his media performance - totally nullifying even the most seasoned journalist ..............

Funny you should say that - I heard him being interviewed this morning and I thought the interviewer sounded completely disinterested in the subject at hand. The questions were lame in the extreme - easily swatted away. If that is an example of a BBC "seasoned journalist"............


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: didcotdean on July 15, 2022, 03:22:56 pm
A few days of strikes, even when organised to have edge effects that bleed into each other possibly don't have the effect they would have had today compared with the days of 5-day-a-week commuting.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: TaplowGreen on July 16, 2022, 09:44:18 am
I am starting to get the feeling that the railway strikes are not having the huge effects that the Unions hoped/predicted. The media are trying to hype things up as much as possible (as expected) but the general public doesn't seem that bothered.
Two years of Covid disruption and all that went with it seem to have taught the public/business/industry how to get by reasonably well, with or without a "normal" train service. In fact many people are relishing the opportunity to "work from home" again. Perhaps Arthur Scargill appearing on the picket line was not a good omen for the RMT.......he called an all out strike at completely the wrong time too. 

Exactly this.

Business rail travel/commuting is increasingly more of an option than a necessity in the new world of remote/hybrid working, as evidenced by the falling off in numbers, and this considerably reduces the Unions leverage.

In this context, more strikes at the height of the holiday season may well be even less effective from the Union's perspective - not great for leisure/occasional travellers who are probably the future for the railway, but no-one in the rail industry seems too bothered about them anyway.

Quite endearing to see old Arthur out in his baseball cap again though! The Mummy awakens!

It could be that the Government decide to tough it out - for me, I think the Unions should be offered the same deal that was accepted by ASLEF in Scotland - I know that some of the issues are subtly different, however it seemed reasonable and if refused, would probably hand the moral high ground back to the employers.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 16, 2022, 09:48:45 am
Virtually all the drivers I’ve spoken to would be happy with a Scotrail style deal.


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: ChrisB on July 26, 2022, 08:05:29 am
Not sure where the separate RMT/ASLEF strike theeads have gone ??? ???

To note that the TSSA have jouned the RMT in striking on 7 TOCs, including GWR, on August 18 & 20


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Timmer on July 26, 2022, 05:14:56 pm
To note that the TSSA have jouned the RMT in striking on 7 TOCs, including GWR, on August 18 & 20
I take it that would mean any chance of GWR running any sort of service on those two dates are next to zero?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: Henry on July 26, 2022, 05:51:32 pm
Virtually all the drivers I’ve spoken to would be happy with a Scotrail style deal.

 I'm sure they would, in fact give them another 50p an hour they'd probably work DOO.
  And still have Sunday's off.
 How much extra did they get for operating I.E.T 's ?


Title: Re: Rail Strike Looming
Post by: a-driver on July 26, 2022, 09:05:01 pm
Virtually all the drivers I’ve spoken to would be happy with a Scotrail style deal.

Absolutely!  Better than the 0% currently on offer.



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