Starting this past Monday from 9pm to 9pm on Tuesday (effectively all of Tuesday...) and for the next 5 weeks, the RMT is striking. During this time, effectively half the tube is down on Tuesday. This past Tuesday, my commute to work was 45 minutes (double what it normally is) on a bus, in which I'm pressed up against the glass to the point, I really can't move. Coming home, my commute took 70 minutes-I mostly walked (mind you, this was after waiting for 20 minutes for my bus -only to have one come by out of service and one come by that was so full it didn't even stop). At least the weather was fine. Good times. Looks like I'll be doing this along with most other Londoners for the upcoming weeks.
Why is the RMT striking you ask? Surely it must be because pay, benefits, work scheudle, something is SO bad that the union feels like it has no choice, right? Surely I would want these hard working people to be given a fair shake in the world, right? WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. They're striking because due to the recession, the UK budget is having to severely be slashed-and part of that is public service-under which the RMT falls. 800 jobs are being cut in stations across London. RMT workers along with the rest of the government, NHS, and other public sector jobs are being hit hard. As is the case during a recession.
Tube workers (drivers, and staff, specfically) get oh, about 6-8 weeks of vacation (compared with the standard 5 for the rest of us), and work only 36-ish hours a week. And, I believe the average pay is in the mid 30s. Not too bad. Oh, and did I mention that they striked (struck?..) last year for almost 3 days demanding pay rises-above & beyond what most of the country was getting during the FREAKING RECESSION and WON?!?!?
Did I mention there was a RECESSION?!?!?
I think if I were left alone in a room with Bob Crow (leader of the RMT), I'd likely have a few choice words. And perhaps a swift kick to his arse.
I'm dreading the next 5 weeks, and at the same time will be personally avoiding trying to take any tube on the days of the strike as my on personal 'Fuck You' to the RMT.
Bite me RMT. Bite me. Bite me. Bite me.
I was too young in the 70s to know much about the auto-worker union strikes in the US, and not much news (that I recall...again, too young...) of the UK coal miner strikers in the 80s. So, except for the occasional 'oh, the French fill-in-the-blank Union is strking. again' thought the past 10 years, the past 2 years are really my first strike-aware experiences.
And, where I may have been mildly sympathetic at some point, given what I know about the pay & benefits of the current RMT staff, any sympathy I had went out the door ages ago.
Sorry my first post after being silent for so long is a negative nellie rant, but it's kinda an important one.
Bite me RMT.