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Industrial inaction

by Martin Aspeli last modified Sep 04, 2007 03:57 AM

Or: how 2,300 people can put 8m others in a bad mood

If you've never been to London during a tube strike, let me assure you it's a particularly fun time of the year. Far be it for me to be cynical, but I heard of this news just as I was reading an article in The Economist about how Britain is unfortunate to have no more public holidays been the last Monday in August, and Christmas Day.

I check the tube status every morning. All smart commuters do - we must be ready to re-plan our journeys at a moment's notice. This is not a good day:

The tube
And for the record - I live nowhere near the Jubilee or Northern lines, and even if I did, they'd be so full from the overflow that it'd be no use.

Of course, when your employer goes down the tube (terrible pun), I can understand there is some resentment. And besides, miltant union bosses who long for the days of Thatcher and coal mines need something to keep them occupied. But when a company's in administration, there isn't a whole lot you can do. RMT says "the company and its administrator failed to give the unequivocal guarantees on jobs, transfers and pensions that the union is seeking". No shit? They are out of money. That's why they are bankrupt, under administration, in receivership... any of this getting through to you at all?

Perhaps some old labourer reads this blog and can explain to me why I should feel anything other than resentment. I certainly empathise with a loss of job security, income and pensions. It's unfair. Unfortunately, having the whole of the city turn on you in anger, and causing not only the people you're trying to wrangle money from, but their clients, suppliers and partners a whole lot of losses due to lost productivity is not a way to get back what's yours.

Have fun on your way out, folks. I hope you get a job somewhere else. If I were picking up the Metronet pieces, I wouldn't want to get you as part of the bargain, though.

As for me: Once more unto the breach ...

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A defence

Posted by Anonymous User at Sep 05, 2007 05:06 AM
In their defence, these people were public sector employees until recently. Without access to the City jobs merry-go-round, collective action is the only way to ensure that their interests are not ignored.

Easy words when I commute on an overground train and don't have to catch the tube again 'til Friday ;-)

Laurence
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