Viewing 40 posts - 81 through 120 (of 290 total)
  • These rail strikes then…
  • I’m employed in the rail industry.

    I never take the train!

    molgrips
    Full Member

    Strikes have to be inconvenient or they don’t work.

    No, they have to hurt the people who the strikers need to take action.

    This government simply won’t give a shit.

    argee
    Full Member

    I heard on the radio this morning that the Japanese have done rail strikes but differently – they carried on working, but let all the passengers travel for free. Doesn’t inconvenience the public, but costs the companies and got their attention pretty quickly! Food for thought for the unions here…

    I believe that the franchises now get paid by the DfT to provide the service, the fares go back into the DfT pot, so basically it would be the government who would lose out, as the franchises get paid for that service, no matter how much it makes.

    It’s going to be a hard strike this one, always remember how the press and government broke the firefighters strike years ago, they sold themselves to the likes of Murdoch to get public opinion against the union and firefighters, i doubt this one will be any better, i honestly believe that the right wingers in government are happy for this, and will manipulate it for all its worth.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    I can’t believe that people still use trains, except like, Harry Potter enthusiasts. I saw on the news that it costs over £5k to travel between London and Brighton, and that if your train is late or cancelled you have to pay extra.

    I know it amazes me how cheap it is and makes me wonder why the rest of the country has to pay for the subsidy.

    According to Google its 53 miles from Brighton to London so 103miles, call it 100 for easy maths.

    5 days a week 500 miles

    45 weeks a year 22,500 miles per year.

    According to the government it costs about 40p/mile total cost so that’s £9,000 before you’ve paid any congestion charges, or parked the thing.

    Even if ignore everything but the fuel that’s still 18p/mile for a diesel so £4,000

    andrewreay
    Full Member

    I know it amazes me how cheap it is

    Hmmm.

    My season ticket would now cost £5,800 for a roundtrip of less than 70 miles into London and back.

    So <16,000 miles per year works out at 37ppm.

    And for that I didn’t often get to sit down (there or back). Trains were late or cancelled and there was regular engineering disruption.

    Taking the car was way more pleasurable as you get space to yourself, it takes you to where you want to go without having to change or wait, and if it’s late (traffic congestion) at least you’re sitting down. And all for marginally more than the train.

    It’s no real wonder passenger numbers are down.

    Northwind
    Full Member

    molgrips
    Full Member
    No, they have to hurt the people who the strikers need to take action.

    Yes, but of course that doesn’t have to be direct. And in the case of public sector workers it’s generally impossible for it to be direct.

    boomerlives
    Free Member

    I know it amazes me how cheap it is and makes me wonder why…

    Because you are only considering the rail part of a wider journey. If you get in the car and drive 10 miles to the station and then a bus/cab/tube at the other end, you might as well stay comfy in your motor and do the whole thing

    chrismac
    Full Member

    I know it amazes me how cheap it is and makes me wonder why…

    Because you are only considering the rail part of a wider journey. If you get in the car and drive 10 miles to the station and then a bus/cab/tube at the other end, you might as well stay comfy in your motor and do the whole thing

    So why do so many still commute by train if they think their season ticket is so expensive? It’s a genuine question, It’s not like they are forced to use the train. If the train is that bad and expensive compared to the alternatives then why dont people take those alternatives?

    jambourgie
    Free Member

    My season ticket would now cost £5,800 for a roundtrip of less than 70 miles into London and back.

    Wait, so you chaps are saying that it actually does in fact cost £5k?! My post was a joke and I made that figure up!

    My. God.

    And for that I didn’t often get to sit down

    I wouldn’t want to sit down after taking that much of a pounding.

    jambourgie
    Free Member

    So why do so many still commute by train if they think their season ticket is so expensive?

    Drink driving being frowned upon. That’s the only benefit I can think of.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    So why do so many still commute by train if they think their season ticket is so expensive?

    Because for most people, there is no other realistic choice.
    Take the journey above, commuting from Brighton into London (and actually a former boss of mine did that daily).

    People live outside London because at the rich end of the scale, it’s simply better to be somewhere nice with open spaces and at the poor end of the scale, you might actually be able to afford a place to rent.

    Getting into town by train is relatively stress free, you can work / sleep etc on the train, do business, read the paper… It might not be the most comfortable journey ever and there’ll be times (which I know from my own train commuting) where getting a seat just isn’t possible but it’s just over an hour, no real problems.

    Driving into central London will cost you parking fees, congestion charge, possibly ULEZ plus the wear and tear / depreciation / fuel on the car doing 120 miles a day and it’s wasted time, you can’t sleep, read the paper or use the laptop and it could take anything from 1 – 3 hrs depending on traffic. Even if the costs are more or less the same, it’s still better on the train for those times where you’re out late, had a drink or whatever.

    Yes, it’s a chunk of money, but assuming you have to live in Brighton (or at least it’s not easy to move, maybe cos of your partner’s work or your children’s schools) and have to work in London, it’s going to cost £5000 / year anyway so why add to the stress by driving?

    dissonance
    Full Member

    If the train is that bad and expensive compared to the alternatives then why dont people take those alternatives?

    Because the alternatives are also expensive. Going into central London by car would be horrendously expensive in terms of parking.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    You also seem to have factored this as every motorist being a single occupant. I’d like to think some people remember car sharing.

    finephilly
    Free Member

    Best thing you could do for a poor area is connect it to a good railway network.

    revs1972
    Free Member

    No, they have to hurt the people who the strikers need to take action.

    This government simply won’t give a shit.

    I bit like the planned motorway blockades protesting about fuel prices.
    They won’t give a shit, not one bit.
    Its no good blocking the refineries or the petrol stations either. All it will do is cause people to rush out and buy fuel “just in case” and end up lining the fuel companies pockets.
    The only way they are going to listen would be for everyone to not buy fuel , then the oil companies will put pressure on the government to sort something out. But that wont happen, because we will all be too busy being pissed off that we can’t get about normally.

    I heard on the radio this morning that the Japanese have done rail strikes but differently – they carried on working, but let all the passengers travel for free. Doesn’t inconvenience the public, but costs the companies and got their attention pretty quickly! Food for thought for the unions here…

    That sounds like the way to do it !!

    batfink
    Full Member

    I heard on the radio this morning that the Japanese have done rail strikes but differently – they carried on working, but let all the passengers travel for free. Doesn’t inconvenience the public, but costs the companies and got their attention pretty quickly! Food for thought for the unions here…

    It’s what the bus drivers do in Sydney too – they switch off the oyster card reader things and just let everyone travel for free

    piemonster
    Full Member

    Im all onboard with a free travel strike, that sounds like a far better way of leveraging the employer, and gets the customer on side.

    But, is there a chance that our employment laws would prevent that somehow?

    Former rail commuter here, even with the busy trains (Edinburgh in my case) using the car would have been awful in comparison. I also believe the ratio of those who drive to those take the train is heavily influenced by proximity to a train station. Nobody where i live is much more than a 10 minute walk at this end, its only the drive everywhere you can(or have to) crowd that did that here.

    I dont think i even factored cost into it, the sheer unpleasantness of driving and trying to park was enough by itself.

    muddy@rseguy
    Full Member

    But, is there a chance that our employment laws would prevent that somehow?

    Yes, quite definitely as it would be a breach of employment contract: you would still be working but have decided to not do part of your job which also tends to constitute a disciplinary offence in most workplaces. Might be wrong here but it opens up the individuals involved (not the union) to legal action as well and means that the employer can potentially terminate employment. IIRC industrial action in the UK can involve a work to rule (following work contracts to the letter so removing all flexibility/not doing overtime etc, or by staff involved refusing to do any work. These actions need to be agreed and clearly stated to the employer.

    Anyway, looking forward to avoiding my London commute on Tuesday and Thursday next week. For all of the obvious reasons there is no way on earth I would ever try commuting from the south coast to Battersea by car, its too far to cycle (well, technically its not, but the 130-ish mile round trip is not my idea of a commute, more an all-day epic with “fun” rush hour take-your-life-in-your-hands cycling through south London for good measure) so its a happy couple of days of remote working and saving the train fare while idly watching the government and rail unions play a blame game.

    n0b0dy0ftheg0at
    Free Member

    On the face of it, this free travel on strike days sounds like a better solution for the company, because the usual users of the service still get from A to B and are less likely to consider alternatives.

    Should never have been privatised in the first place, government still pours money in while share holders get dividends and other country governments make profits running UK train services to effectively subsidise their own. 😆

    piemonster
    Full Member

    Should never have been privatised in the first place, government still pours money in while share holders get dividends and other country governments make profits running UK train services to effectively subsidise their own. 

    A good example of where ideology is the decider and not what is right.

    ransos
    Free Member

    You also seem to have factored this as every motorist being a single occupant. I’d like to think some people remember car sharing.

    Most don’t though.

    Yes, quite definitely as it would be a breach of employment contract

    If they do it as balloted industrial action then they’re withdrawing their labour from a specific task. I don’t see how it’s any different legally to an all out strike.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Mick Lynch was very good on Newsnight this evening.

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    I’m getting pee’d off with the bbc and some of the tabloids, especially the mail.

    The bbc are the worst though as theyre clearly asking a large number in thee street, then filtering out most of the supportive interviews, popping in one or two but the vast majority are negative. But ive watched lots of other ‘man in the street’ and most are in support of the unions.

    We know the journalists both newspaper and television are part of a union, but i wonder how that union would react if the tv or paper companies suddenly came out with mass sackings, or well below inflation pay increases. I’d expect to see them go out on strike pretty rapidly.

    miketually
    Free Member

    The free travel on strike days thing is secondary action and it’s illegal in the UK.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    My take:

    – it seems modernisation of the railway employment contracts is well overdue, and I support change there.

    – I think we need to ignore the headlines about pay, most reporting the (generous IMO) driver pay, not the cleaners etc who do need more. Why not give the lower paid a bigger payrise?

    – the unions will serve thier members now and win the battle – but long term I wonder if it will be a disservice.

    – the underlying issue of huge inflation isn’t the railway workers fault, and the government & Brexshit should be taking a kicking for it (again).
    .
    I also think this is the summer of discontent starting. Much, much more to come.

    dissonance
    Full Member

    This “modernisation” of contracts? Thats rarely used in a positive way but more a lets reduce conditions sense.
    The reason the train drivers shouldnt be included is that they arent included in the strike.
    They are mostly in a different union which isnt taking action.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    Don’t worry Boris the public sector pay review is published soon, you can keep up the fight after this has died down!!

    binners
    Full Member

    Mick Lynch was very good on Newsnight this evening.

    I think he was sort of saying that he didn’t believe what Chris Phillips had to say

    I also think this is the summer of discontent starting. Much, much more to come.

    Its being engineered by the Tory’s to be just that

    A representative of the rail operators is on Five Live this morning, pointing out that they haven’t asked for a relaxation of the laws about agency workers and would not want to do that even if the government did change the law.

    He’s pointed out that it would just poison relations, simply dragging out the dispute which will inevitably need a negotiated settlement, it simply won’t work and on a practical level; where on earth do the government think all these trained rail workers are going to suddenly materialise from?

    He’s saying that he government hasn’t even consulted the rail industry, aren’t interested what they want anyway and they’re just going ahead and doing it because they want to start a fight with the unions for political reasons, so they can water down workers rights across the board. Overall they think it will be counterproductive and the rail operators have no intention of using agency workers

    And that is coming from a representative for the rail operators, that renowned hotbed of revolutionary socialism

    ransos
    Free Member

    – the unions will serve thier members now and win the battle – but long term I wonder if it will be a disservice.

    This could be true, but people said the same all through the Bob Crow era.

    DrJ
    Full Member

    But, is there a chance that our employment laws would prevent that somehow?

    Undoubtedly. Doing anything other than slaving night and day until you rest in your grave in order to make the rich richer is how the English like it, judging from their behaviour at the ballot box.

    dyls
    Free Member

    I fully support them in terms of inflation and pay rises.

    The cost of everything is flying upwards and 2% just doesn’t cover it.

    binners
    Full Member

    I’ve just heard Boris Johnsons statement

    “Blah, blah, blah…. disruption to the travelling public, blah, blah, blah…. need to modernise”

    Then somewhat inexplicably, he finished with…

    “It’ll also massively benefit the railway workers themselves, and their families”

    He didn’t elaborate on why being made redundant or effectively taking a huge pay cut would benefit them and their families.

    Any suggestions?

    johndoh
    Free Member

    Any suggestions?

    As he doesn’t understand a word that comes out of his mouth, I doubt any of us can hazard a guess.

    I still enjoy his regurgitated ‘High skilled, high paid workforce’ line – like the entire nation can be in high skilled jobs and earn loads (but not too much as we’ve been told that will just fuel inflation).

    dyls
    Free Member

    And then you have the Bank of England governor, who’s on £575k a year and undoubtedly a millionaire, asking for pay restraints.

    They just don’t live in the world the majority of us does.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Conservatives trying very hard to pin this on Labour…

    If only the Conservatives were in government, the rail services and cost of living would all be… oh, hang on…

    [ don’t get me started on the BBC coverage of this so far … proper shouting at the tv stuff ]

    pondo
    Full Member

    Mick Lynch is awesome!

    greatbeardedone
    Free Member

    It would be simpler if the pension companies took a big slice of the rail ownership.

    Next to mortgages, it’s a guaranteed earner. Less risky than investing in Bolivian tin mines.

    On the condition that some portion of their revenue went into a fund for elderly care, local to that part of the rail line.

    We still need to ease overcrowding in the south east of the country.

    Plenty of room ‘oop north.
    It’s just a question of moving all those art galleries, etc, out of London.
    Government too. It’s pretty inevitable that London is going to end up being flooded.

    It’s a question of building new towns with an infrastructure that doesn’t rely on people having to drive everywhere and having a diverse economic base that isn’t subject to the vissiscitudes of the Kondratiev cycle.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    I still enjoy his regurgitated ‘High skilled, high paid workforce’ line – like the entire nation can be in high skilled jobs and earn loads (but not too much as we’ve been told that will just fuel inflation).

    High skilled/high paid – except for rail workers, not you, that’s too high and not skilled enough.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    So I did something the media dont want to do and had a look at the published Annual Accounts for Network Rail to see how they were doing and what their financial position was. It was a bit of an eye opener

    For financial year ending march 2021 they had

    Revenue £9.618billion

    Operating Profit £3.282Biillion

    Profit before Tax £1.613Billion

    That Profit before tax is £1.238Billion more than the prior year

    Not surprisingly pay was their biggest cost at £2.802Billion including pensions NI etc

    So if they paid a 10% pay award it would cost them £280million so even without any efficiency improvements attached to it then the company would still make £958Million which is 105 on revenue so still a good margin.

    steve_b77
    Free Member

    … possibly one of the main underlying issues is that the railway has been massively underfunded in the past, the cost of everything involved in trying to get it somewhere near any kind of totally reliable state – and I’m not just on about timetables here – is huge and it (the money) has to come from somewhere.

    Striking in my mind is just making that harder, yes I understand that there is a cost of living crisis / issue going on with absolutely all of your day to day consumables increasing in cost on an almost daily basis, but shut a revenue stream down for 5 days, then add a few on the back end to get it running at full tilt again is going to cost hundreds of millions of pounds, which the DfT is going to have to find from somewhere.

    The offer of a 2% rise or whatever the offer is, it’s a bit rubbish, it’s no where near inflation, but if you suddenly pile in an inflation matching pay-rise across the board then I’d imagine the DfT would be properly up shit street.

    What people earn at the very top of the tree doesn’t really come into it from a wider perspective, across industry (not just rail) for every person on £2-300k per year, there’s dozens of people just about doing enough not to get the sack, tossing it off on some kind of dubious long term leave of absence – no issue with people who are actually in need of this – or things of a similar ilk, contributing naff all or very little to the “wage” they collect every month.

    But in all honesty this country is bolloxed, I’ve been told of adverts for cleaners on the likes of office building types on up to £19ph yet we can’t figure out how to pay a Railway maintenance person that as a basic wage.

Viewing 40 posts - 81 through 120 (of 290 total)

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