Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Time for a sensible compromise on rail services

Today, the RMT strike action, which some Labour frontbenchers backed while others stayed silent, shut down much of the UK’s transport network – disrupting the lives of millions of passengers. The Government is calling for a sensible compromise to end the dispute for the good of the British people and the rail workforce.

  • The unions are harming the very people they claim to be helping. By going ahead with these rail strikes, they are driving away commuters who ultimately support the jobs of rail workers, whilst also impacting businesses and communities across the country.
  • Too high demands on pay will also make it incredibly difficult to bring to an end the current challenges facing families around the world with the rising cost of living. Now is the time to come to a sensible compromise for the good of the British people and the rail workforce.
  • We will not however load higher fares on passengers to carry on paying for working practices that date in some cases to the 19th century – this Conservative Government will always stand up for rail users and the British public.
  • Meanwhile, while Labour have chosen to side with their Union paymasters over the British people – supporting the RMT in private, but refusing to come clean to the public about their support for this reckless action.

2 comments:

Jim said...

From someone who works on the railways...
Three years ago we accepted a 0% pay rise, two years ago we accepted a 0% pay rise. But this year they came to us with a 0% pay rise plus over 2500 redundancies, changes to terms and conditions. An increase from 28 weeks of nights to 39 weeks of nights. An increase from 32 weekends worked to 39 weekends worked.
Currently for a night shift we get time and a quarter, for a weekend turn we get time and a half. They wish to cut both of these to time and a tenth. So that’s a 15% pay cut on every night shift and a 40% pay cut on every weekend turn. But they want us to work more of them. This is their modernisation they talk about. Not technology, we embrace technology and have seen more and more of it in recent years. They also wish to fire and re-hire the operative grades and bring them back under a new job title but on £9000 a year less. They also want them to use their own vehicles to get to work sites, this when fuel is at its highest. They will also be pooled when currently they are part of the team. The press are painting this to be about pay above all else. It is not. But now we’ve said sod them we are going to demand better. I wish everyone could see past the government controlled media smear

Chris Whiteside said...

The actual rights and wrongs of this dispute are a lot more complex and nuanced that they are sometimes presented as being.

I don't blame the railway workers or any other group of workers for trying to get the best deal they can.

I would like to see the employers and the union talking in the hope of trying to get a genuine compromise - which usually means that both sides will get some of what they want.

I'm not convinced that these strikes will ultimately help railway workers: they are certainly hitting a lot of entirely innocent members of the public.