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European Railroad Discussion > Bah! Humbug! Southern Train Engineers Strike


Date: 12/13/16 04:36
Bah! Humbug! Southern Train Engineers Strike
Author: JPB




Date: 12/13/16 08:08
Re: Bah! Humbug! Southern Train Engineers Strike
Author: 86235

I actually had a much BETTER commute this morning. The Thameslink service between Bedford and Brighton is unaffected by today's action by ASLEF members working for Southern, consequently we sailed through untroubled by pesky Southern trains getting in the way!

Left Blackfriars on time, arrived East Croydon four early, Gatwick three early and Three Bridges exactly on time.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/13/16 08:10 by 86235.



Date: 12/13/16 12:53
Re: Bah! Humbug! Southern Train Engineers Strike
Author: andersonb109

How considerate of them. Right before Christmas.



Date: 12/13/16 13:11
Re: Bah! Humbug! Southern Train Engineers Strike
Author: CIT1023

Look for the dirty hands of the government, they are there, involved in this long running and unecessary dispute.
Keith G, London, UK



Date: 12/13/16 14:36
Re: Bah! Humbug! Southern Train Engineers Strike
Author: 86235

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How considerate of them. Right before Christmas.

Nowt to do with Christmas, this has been going on for months. There is seemingly a hidden agenda about reducing staff. The driver's union, ASLEF, balloted their members who voted overwhelmingly to join the dispute.

The company went to court twice to get it called off and lost on both occasions. It's difficult to see how this can be resolved without both sides being willing to compromise.



Date: 12/13/16 15:55
Re: Bah! Humbug! Southern Train Engineers Strike
Author: spflow

86235 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> andersonb109 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > How considerate of them. Right before
> Christmas.
>
> Nowt to do with Christmas, this has been going on
> for months. There is seemingly a hidden agenda
> about reducing staff. The driver's union, ASLEF,
> balloted their members who voted overwhelmingly to
> join the dispute.
>
> The company went to court twice to get it called
> off and lost on both occasions. It's difficult to
> see how this can be resolved without both sides
> being willing to compromise.

Quite right, and given that the Government directly takes all the revenue and effectively controls the operating company (which simply runs the trains and gets paid a fee for doing so), they have a clear responsiblity to sort the problem. However it seems that they (or at least the present minister) have no interest in settling the dispute - presumably it is expected for the government stance to play well with travelling public. Somehow I doubt it. It's all an awful pity, especially as the actual cost issues are so piffling.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/16 10:12 by spflow.



Date: 12/14/16 10:18
Re: Bah! Humbug! Southern Train Engineers Strike
Author: spflow

It interesting to note that the great traveling public (as reported by the traditionally rather conservative UK media) seem to blame the Government and the operator Souther Railway more than the trade unions involved.

We live in interesting times!



Date: 12/14/16 18:23
Re: Bah! Humbug! Southern Train Engineers Strike
Author: TheInstigator

spflow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It interesting to note that the great traveling
> public (as reported by the traditionally rather
> conservative UK media) seem to blame the
> Government and the operator Souther Railway more
> than the trade unions involved.
>
> We live in interesting times!
They blame them because they are right. Why do Americans always blame unions ? Look at some of the poor working conditions here. Paid vacation ? What is that?
Andy



Date: 12/14/16 21:31
Re: Bah! Humbug! Southern Train Engineers Strike
Author: PHall

TheInstigator Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> spflow Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > It interesting to note that the great traveling
> > public (as reported by the traditionally rather
> > conservative UK media) seem to blame the
> > Government and the operator Souther Railway
> more
> > than the trade unions involved.
> >
> > We live in interesting times!
> They blame them because they are right. Why do
> Americans always blame unions ? Look at some of
> the poor working conditions here. Paid vacation ?
> What is that?
> Andy

Not all Americans blame unions...



Date: 12/14/16 22:40
Re: Bah! Humbug! Southern Train Engineers Strike
Author: SP4360

Mostly done by armchair quarterbacks.

PHall Wrote:
> Not all Americans blame unions...



Date: 12/14/16 23:16
Re: Bah! Humbug! Southern Train Engineers Strike
Author: 86235

As is so often the case it is not difficult to see both sides of the case. This is about modernisation but it's also being used by an anti-trades union government for a bit of union-bashing to divert attention from the Brexit debacle. Is it coincidence that the Transport Secretary, Grayling, is a leading Brexiteer?

On the other hand the railway unions still cling to practises, having set allowances to walk from one end of a train to the other for instance, which have disappeared from other former monolithic industries.

The ostensible cause - introduction of one person operated trains on Southern - is hardly controversial, Thameslink, which operate over some of the same routes, has been doing it for ages. But the way Southern has gone about this is an object lesson on how not to achieve change. And as a result you see it in the interaction between staff and passengers, when I started riding Southern in 2006 the on train staff were far more visible than they are now.

It is very sad how far what was a pretty good operation has fallen.



Date: 12/16/16 07:07
Re: Bah! Humbug! Southern Train Engineers Strike
Author: spflow

86235 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> On the other hand the railway unions still cling
> to practises, having set allowances to walk from
> one end of a train to the other for instance,
> which have disappeared from other former
> monolithic industries.

> But the way Southern has gone about this is an
> object lesson on how not to achieve change. And as
> a result you see it in the interaction between
> staff and passengers, when I started riding
> Southern in 2006 the on train staff were far more
> visible than they are now.
>

> It is very sad how far what was a pretty good
> operation has fallen.

Again this is a good point, but one should not have to destroy an industry to remake it.

Under the old regime (before the 1980s) London Buses had had an industrial relations policy where almost any restrictive practice would be permiited provided it didn't actually cost immediate cash. All kinds of absurdities emerged from labour negotiations which were seen as "victory" by management because they had avoided a bigger pay rise, without much thought to the longer term implications. Thus only one type of bus could be used on a particular route, and that vehices and staff could not even be scheduled to switch routes at any time. It took the privatisation in the 1980s at time of massive unemployment to break union power, although the actual physical efficiency of the operation declined very substantially in terms of increased empty mileage etc.The supposedly clever private management made savings by screwing staff wages and conditions, hence enabling a great waste of real staff and other resources not to be noticed. It is the trap of looking only at the cash flows rather than at what is actually happening!

Similarly many of the financial benefits from rail privatisation have accrued to the banks, and lawyers - who have had a field day, and continue to do so!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/16/16 07:18 by spflow.



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