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Thumbbass

Trains, strikes etc

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I've been a regular commuter for nearly 7 years on the London line. I can say that the customer service I've received in that period from Greater Anglia and its staff has been fairly poor to nigh-on atrocious throughout. A recent highlight is being stranded due to cancellations while one of my direct family was blue-lighted to hospital, station staff's answer 'the bus station is about 25 minute walk'. 

Norwich station is usually, in my opinion, over-staffed by 'guards' who stand in small groups chatting, even through the COVID period. This seems to dissipate when there is an issue on the line, and those left to face customers offer so little as to be useless, perhaps they aren't given any information either? The new trains are more punctual, and on-train staff have always been pleasant but never look overstretched, there will obviously be difficult passengers, but then you'll get that anywhere dealing with the public. Passenger numbers are down due to WFH adoption and digital services are also reducing the demand on station staff. The trains are nowhere near as busy as they used to be, I'd often have to stand for my return journey but there are always free seats now.

What is the justification in this reported request of an 11.1% pay rise? These are private companies with profits and shareholders and in all likelihood all that will happen is that the commuters using the service will be charged even more to cover any increase. Rail prices in this country are horrendous enough as it is. 

I'm usually fairly left leaning and I'm no fan of Boris but I cannot support the action. So, I'm just wondering if there is any support for this strike outside of the rail workers?

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6 minutes ago, Thumbbass said:

So, I'm just wondering if there is any support for this strike outside of the rail workers?

It would appear so

 

 

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2 minutes ago, king canary said:

It would appear so

 

 

I wonder if the timing of this while that mop headed idiot is at his weakest is helping these figures along a little. But I am surprised. 

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1 hour ago, Thumbbass said:

I've been a regular commuter for nearly 7 years on the London line. I can say that the customer service I've received in that period from Greater Anglia and its staff has been fairly poor to nigh-on atrocious throughout. A recent highlight is being stranded due to cancellations while one of my direct family was blue-lighted to hospital, station staff's answer 'the bus station is about 25 minute walk'. 

Norwich station is usually, in my opinion, over-staffed by 'guards' who stand in small groups chatting, even through the COVID period. This seems to dissipate when there is an issue on the line, and those left to face customers offer so little as to be useless, perhaps they aren't given any information either? The new trains are more punctual, and on-train staff have always been pleasant but never look overstretched, there will obviously be difficult passengers, but then you'll get that anywhere dealing with the public. Passenger numbers are down due to WFH adoption and digital services are also reducing the demand on station staff. The trains are nowhere near as busy as they used to be, I'd often have to stand for my return journey but there are always free seats now.

What is the justification in this reported request of an 11.1% pay rise? These are private companies with profits and shareholders and in all likelihood all that will happen is that the commuters using the service will be charged even more to cover any increase. Rail prices in this country are horrendous enough as it is. 

I'm usually fairly left leaning and I'm no fan of Boris but I cannot support the action. So, I'm just wondering if there is any support for this strike outside of the rail workers?

The key striking group are signallers and tbh they are absolutely crucial to the functioning of the railway and the safety of everyone who gets on board. It's a job where you have to be constantly alert and are liable for any mistake that could kill hundreds. It's also relatively highly skilled. Trains can't run without them, so the rest of the strikers are essentially out in solidarity, ironically saving the companies money.

As for why do they deserve a pay rise. Well this government has screwed up energy policy for 15 years (in fairness, the government before them screwed it up for the proceeding 15 years). That's causing part of the UKs 11% inflation rate and ignores that their previous pay offers were also below inflation. It's an absolute gutting of peoples purchasing power whilst certain select groups continue to get at inflation wealth transfers. Regardless of how you feel about customer service, it's untenable to maintain a stable country when all policy is targeted solely at the over 65s.

Edited by 1902
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1 hour ago, king canary said:

It would appear so

 

 

There are others that tell a different picture though.  I think the days of major chaos being caused by rail strikes are in the past.   Most people will read the news, shrug their shoulders and then get an uber or work from home

image.thumb.png.b1aa5abbff7919c14a501f0d362bd0ca.png

 

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3 hours ago, Thumbbass said:

I've been a regular commuter for nearly 7 years on the London line. I can say that the customer service I've received in that period from Greater Anglia and its staff has been fairly poor to nigh-on atrocious throughout. A recent highlight is being stranded due to cancellations while one of my direct family was blue-lighted to hospital, station staff's answer 'the bus station is about 25 minute walk'. 

Norwich station is usually, in my opinion, over-staffed by 'guards' who stand in small groups chatting, even through the COVID period. This seems to dissipate when there is an issue on the line, and those left to face customers offer so little as to be useless, perhaps they aren't given any information either? The new trains are more punctual, and on-train staff have always been pleasant but never look overstretched, there will obviously be difficult passengers, but then you'll get that anywhere dealing with the public. Passenger numbers are down due to WFH adoption and digital services are also reducing the demand on station staff. The trains are nowhere near as busy as they used to be, I'd often have to stand for my return journey but there are always free seats now.

What is the justification in this reported request of an 11.1% pay rise? These are private companies with profits and shareholders and in all likelihood all that will happen is that the commuters using the service will be charged even more to cover any increase. Rail prices in this country are horrendous enough as it is. 

I'm usually fairly left leaning and I'm no fan of Boris but I cannot support the action. So, I'm just wondering if there is any support for this strike outside of the rail workers?

Its the RMT's job to protect jobs. If tgey can't, then they have to get the best settlement for those losing their jobs and the best wages and conditions for those left. Agreements are not just about today, they are also about the future.

If the union members are adamant that their claims will protect their share of the industry then good on them. Other industries that were public owned have been paring the wages and conditions of their staff since they were privatised. Of course the industry will develop how the employers and Government want. But they cannot expect it to seamlessly replace what is there.

And of course, shareholders have to be considered. And sometimes, they expect profit before anything else.

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Barrier staff are lazy. At Newcastle I was rushing to get onto my train and asked the guard to open the barrier, what did he say?. “Use your ticket”. I told him to go do one later on. I was in a hurry and i made it clearly obvious, he only needed to place his plastic card on the reader while I was going through my pockets.

I hope it’s improved now but the trains themselves here are useless. Striking is messing up people’s financial plans during a time of rising petrol prices and use the train to cut down on it.

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5 hours ago, 1902 said:

The key striking group are signallers and tbh they are absolutely crucial to the functioning of the railway and the safety of everyone who gets on board. It's a job where you have to be constantly alert and are liable for any mistake that could kill hundreds. It's also relatively highly skilled. Trains can't run without them, so the rest of the strikers are essentially out in solidarity, ironically saving the companies money.

As for why do they deserve a pay rise. Well this government has screwed up energy policy for 15 years (in fairness, the government before them screwed it up for the proceeding 15 years). That's causing part of the UKs 11% inflation rate and ignores that their previous pay offers were also below inflation. It's an absolute gutting of peoples purchasing power whilst certain select groups continue to get at inflation wealth transfers. Regardless of how you feel about customer service, it's untenable to maintain a stable country when all policy is targeted solely at the over 65s.

Get agency staff to cover the signallers

What could go wrong?

Good enough for P&O 😜

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A running friend of mine was a guard at Piccadilly, and he'd said for a long time that conditions were gradually getting worse. The train strikes are occasionally being erroneously (or maybe maliciously) painted as being by drivers, when in reality it's a lot of support staff in the railway industry.

I'm perfectly happy with them striking and wish them the best of British. This government has been allowed to be complacent, happily giving themselves big expense rises for eff-all, yet giving borderline eff-all to NHS staff amongst others. And I depend on the train for long distance travel that's not on a plane, as I can't drive.

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51 minutes ago, KernowCanary said:

Barrier staff are lazy. At Newcastle I was rushing to get onto my train and asked the guard to open the barrier, what did he say?. “Use your ticket”. I told him to go do one later on. I was in a hurry and i made it clearly obvious, he only needed to place his plastic card on the reader while I was going through my pockets.

I hope it’s improved now but the trains themselves here are useless. Striking is messing up people’s financial plans during a time of rising petrol prices and use the train to cut down on it.

I guess somebody could point the finger at any one of us on any given day and say something untoward. Just a simple thing of not acknowledging you when you let them through traffic is no different. Its about perception. I had a Bus Driver in London tell me I couldn't use my Bus Pass. I guess he had a bad day and I told him politely he was offending Mrs KG and I, his passengers and those patiently waiting to get on. I told him he was wrong and what were the better odds, me being right and if not two fares dodged.

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Deep down we all know that the Union is trying to defend antiquated procedures that are really indefensible.

Fully support their right to withdraw their Labour.

I also backed the Miners!

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25 minutes ago, Herman said:

Whatever you think of the strikes you have to admire Mick Lynch. Proper leader.👍

A legend in the making. He is calm, calls out BS after listening carefully and answers questions completely straight. No hedging or beating about the bush with him. In a way he reminds me of a kind of Andy Burnham and shows really what Starmer should be doing. Labour seem unable to simply take a side and stick with it. Either stand for the working man or don't! Mick L seems an utter breath of fresh air. Cannot be an easy job but you can tell by just how hard the media are with him and Tory MPs that he is someone with principles. He bats them all away!

We have a lot more strikes coming. Not only are we going backward to the 70s with Brexit but with our industrial relations too. Why cannot Shapps simply be open to talking? At least try anyway! Pathetic from him really. 

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1 hour ago, Herman said:

Whatever you think of the strikes you have to admire Mick Lynch. Proper leader.👍

I think his best quality is he just doesn't get drawn, everyone just looks shrill when dealing with him. 

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5 minutes ago, 1902 said:

I think his best quality is he just doesn't get drawn, everyone just looks shrill when dealing with him. 

Hardly surprising but Piers Morgan comes across as a bigger cretin than normal.

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2 hours ago, KernowCanary said:

Barrier staff are lazy. At Newcastle I was rushing to get onto my train and asked the guard to open the barrier, what did he say?. “Use your ticket”. I told him to go do one later on. I was in a hurry and i made it clearly obvious, he only needed to place his plastic card on the reader while I was going through my pockets.

I hope it’s improved now but the trains themselves here are useless. Striking is messing up people’s financial plans during a time of rising petrol prices and use the train to cut down on it.

So the story is you were abusive to a member of station staff because he refused to buzz you through the barrier when you asked despite not showing him a ticket?

And...he's the bad guy?

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1 hour ago, Herman said:

Whatever you think of the strikes you have to admire Mick Lynch. Proper leader.👍

Exactly. He has done a good job for his members. He has a reply without obfuscation to each question and has the ability to turn the tables on interviewers with an agenda.

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8 hours ago, king canary said:

So the story is you were abusive to a member of station staff because he refused to buzz you through the barrier when you asked despite not showing him a ticket?

And...he's the bad guy?

Next week.

Ticket barrier staff just buzzing people through. This is why trains cost so much.

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18 hours ago, 1902 said:

The key striking group are signallers and tbh they are absolutely crucial to the functioning of the railway and the safety of everyone who gets on board. It's a job where you have to be constantly alert and are liable for any mistake that could kill hundreds. It's also relatively highly skilled. Trains can't run without them, so the rest of the strikers are essentially out in solidarity, ironically saving the companies money.

As for why do they deserve a pay rise. Well this government has screwed up energy policy for 15 years (in fairness, the government before them screwed it up for the proceeding 15 years). That's causing part of the UKs 11% inflation rate and ignores that their previous pay offers were also below inflation. It's an absolute gutting of peoples purchasing power whilst certain select groups continue to get at inflation wealth transfers. Regardless of how you feel about customer service, it's untenable to maintain a stable country when all policy is targeted solely at the over 65s.

I've spoken to a signaller who said they sit and watch films on their phone all day, I can't remember what he said he was earning but it was a decent salary, over £40k. Might have been bluster, maybe. Hasn't helped my overall opinion.

I don't question why the strikes are happening, I just don't support it. If 50% of striking workers are on more than £36kpa, £11k above the UK average, is paying them more not just lining the pockets of the wealthier in society at the expense of those who rely on the network - most of whom will be earning less. These are private companies with shareholders who will not accept a reduction in profit so the increase will come from commuters.

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17 minutes ago, Thumbbass said:

I've spoken to a signaller who said they sit and watch films on their phone all day, I can't remember what he said he was earning but it was a decent salary, over £40k. Might have been bluster, maybe. Hasn't helped my overall opinion.

I don't question why the strikes are happening, I just don't support it. If 50% of striking workers are on more than £36kpa, £11k above the UK average, is paying them more not just lining the pockets of the wealthier in society at the expense of those who rely on the network - most of whom will be earning less. These are private companies with shareholders who will not accept a reduction in profit so the increase will come from commuters.

Well I hope it's just bluster, because otherwise he is endangering lives. That doesn't stop the reality that it is a responsible job which is difficult to do (correctly).

36K is not exactly earth shattering. I'm ok with a level of inequality where there are some people earning 11K more than the national average. Anyway average salary is not a good measure of these kind of debates, household income is. 

Geographical location is also fairly relevant. If there's a concentration in the South-East and London, which I suspect there is, average salary will of course be higher.

Finally, the problem comes here: 'These are private companies with shareholders who will not accept a reduction in profit so the increase will come from commuters.'  I actually agree with this, but that's what happens when trains have a virtual monopoly and are privatised. Neither RMT members or commuters should have to pay for the political dogma of governments going back to Major which took a natural monopoly and decided to leave it to the market to handle (whilst also somehow holding on to most of the risk.)

.

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2 hours ago, Thumbbass said:

I've spoken to a signaller who said they sit and watch films on their phone all day, I can't remember what he said he was earning but it was a decent salary, over £40k. Might have been bluster, maybe. Hasn't helped my overall opinion.

I don't question why the strikes are happening, I just don't support it. If 50% of striking workers are on more than £36kpa, £11k above the UK average, is paying them more not just lining the pockets of the wealthier in society at the expense of those who rely on the network - most of whom will be earning less. These are private companies with shareholders who will not accept a reduction in profit so the increase will come from commuters.

I expect a pilot sits back and enjoys the flight majority of the day but taking off and landing is where he earns his wages. I couldn't care less less if a signaller does fanny adams most of his day. He is there for when it matters.

What does the CEO of a big company do all day? Read emails and make decisions.

Its not always about what you do, its often about what you might be needed to do.

I would like to point out that its £25 an hour cleaning some holiday lets down here in West Cornwall.

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11 minutes ago, Herman said:

 

Among those shareholders will be the state operators of countries railways.

https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/70-of-uk-rail-routes-now-owned-by-foreign-states/

So whilst are train services are sh!te, the profit taken from them is paying for Dutch State railways et al, to be better, and that's why privatisation of national utilities and services is a such a bum deal for ordinary people.

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Mick Lynch is no “voice of the working class”, he’s an overpaid fat cat who only cares about being on TV all the time and making peoples lives a misery who need the train to get to work every day.

I’m going up to Plymouth next week Friday to see a friend I haven’t seen since 2005 and Lynch has put this on ice should it continue into next week and terms are not met for the strikers. I might lose a lot of money for trains I won’t be using right now and Delay Repay is just vouchers for future train rides isn’t it?. It’s been a long time since I’ve last applied for this.

I understand the reasons for the strikes, but why time it before exams and a supposed “summer of fun” after two years of Covid and the cost of living getting worse and worse?.

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When are they supposed to strike? When their jobs are threatened or when's convenient for you and others?

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22 hours ago, Van wink said:

Deep down we all know that the Union is trying to defend antiquated procedures that are really indefensible.

Fully support their right to withdraw their Labour.

I also backed the Miners!

Do you have any examples of these indefensible procedures?

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24 minutes ago, KernowCanary said:

Mick Lynch is no “voice of the working class”, he’s an overpaid fat cat who only cares about being on TV all the time and making peoples lives a misery who need the train to get to work every day.

I’m going up to Plymouth next week Friday to see a friend I haven’t seen since 2005 and Lynch has put this on ice should it continue into next week and terms are not met for the strikers. I might lose a lot of money for trains I won’t be using right now and Delay Repay is just vouchers for future train rides isn’t it?. It’s been a long time since I’ve last applied for this.

I understand the reasons for the strikes, but why time it before exams and a supposed “summer of fun” after two years of Covid and the cost of living getting worse and worse?.

Outrageous! Well, that's completely changed my opinion, those pesky little blighters should shut up and accept getting considerably poorer whilst the shareholders of their employers pocket hundreds of millions of pounds of dividend, otherwise KernowCanary can't see his friend who he hasn't seen since 2005!

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15 minutes ago, canarydan23 said:

Outrageous! Well, that's completely changed my opinion, those pesky little blighters should shut up and accept getting considerably poorer whilst the shareholders of their employers pocket hundreds of millions of pounds of dividend,

It's not that simple though is it.

It's only some of the train companies that are on strike but it's become a national issue because network rail staff are on strike.  And as far as I know network rail is nationalised and doesn't pay millions of pounds in dividends to any individual.

I'm not saying  these strikes are wrong, I don't know  the full details well enough.  However, I am yet to see a justification great enough to justify the disruption the strikes are causing, let alone the implications of any pay deal.

 

 

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52 minutes ago, KernowCanary said:

Mick Lynch is no “voice of the working class”, he’s an overpaid fat cat who only cares about being on TV all the time and making peoples lives a misery who need the train to get to work every day.

I’m going up to Plymouth next week Friday to see a friend I haven’t seen since 2005 and Lynch has put this on ice should it continue into next week and terms are not met for the strikers. I might lose a lot of money for trains I won’t be using right now and Delay Repay is just vouchers for future train rides isn’t it?. It’s been a long time since I’ve last applied for this.

I understand the reasons for the strikes, but why time it before exams and a supposed “summer of fun” after two years of Covid and the cost of living getting worse and worse?.

Perhaps Lynch could email you when its convenient to you for them to strike. You have known this strike was possible for some time now.

And there are regular buses to Plymouth from Truro so you have an alternative.

And surely its just as important for the employers to put this to bed as well. Mersey rail have already made an agreement for a 7.1% pay rise.

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Ah yes, selling off the railways. Instead of them being nationalised and ran by our own government, it just means other governments profit instead through investment.....

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