JCC Support the London tube strike

Discussion in 'Community' started by slightly_unhinged, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. slightly_unhinged Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2014
    star 3
    For all those who live outside the UK, London's tube staff are on strike today and tomorrow and for a couple of days next week.

    The circumstances:

    With the ubiquity and ease of use of oyster update/ticket machines, Transport for London are planning to reduce the number of people working in ticket offices.

    Why this is wrong:

    I've generally found that oyster/ticket machines are quick, easy and convenient to use. This is not what London transport is supposed to be about. I want, nay, I DEMAND that my journey be spiced up by some surly, unhelpful **** who's paid more money than the graduate analysts I employ to work on my team.

    What you might see in the media:

    Right wing newspapers are whining on about how tube drivers are paid an average £46,100 (over $75,000 US) a year to sit in a train that's basically automated, just having to push a button in the case of an emergency or shout incoherently at passengers through a PA system.

    The TRUTH:

    Tube drivers may, very occasionally, have someone jump in front of their train. This can cause emotional damage, so IT'S ONLY RIGHT that they are paid twice as much as, say, the paramedics who have to pick up the pieces of whoever was so sick of dealing with the obnoxious "service" that they decided to end it all as a bloody, pulpy mess on the tracks.

    Fig 1. The executive stress of having a button that you might have to push at some point after an instruction to do so over the radio, while having LITERALLY NOTHING ELSE TO DO except perhaps shout at passengers through an overamplified PA system

    [IMG]

    In this economic climate, in which most people have had their pay frozen or cut over the last few years, it is only JUST and FITTING that tube drivers continue to get above-inflation increases for the misery they inflict on the travelling public.

    So their salary is in the kind of bracket associated with senior managers, or qualified professionals such as lawyers, doctors, accountants, architects and university lecturers who've spent 7 years or so studying and another few years climbing up from junior positions... do they have a BIG BUTTON??? The executive stress induced by having the means to stop a train if there's a signalling system fault is ENORMOUS.

    Fig 2: People who would otherwise have been brain surgeons valiantly turning up to tell people to **** off even though, for the next two days only, they're not being paid as much as a dentist to do it; they're doing it out of the goodness of their hearts.

    [IMG]

    The ticket office and customer service staff are only paid an entry salary of around £27,000 (a little under $45,000 US). This is only about the equivalent of a decent first job for a graduate of a top 10 university. It would take about three years of service to uplift this to £30,000 or so, which is only double the salary earned by the average customer service professional and about the same as a newly qualified accountant. What people don't understand is that most customer service staff in other organisations just have to smile, help people out and try to find a way to resolve complaints while protecting the reputation of their company. They have no idea of the stress and strain caused by being hideously rude and even aggressive towards the general public. Now that their employer has had the AUDACITY to suggest that their function could be replaced by machines... well, I think they should demand another above inflation payrise coupled with a profuse apology and a bunch of flowers.

    PLEASE SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR OUR VALIANT TUBE STAFF IN THIS THREAD
    Last edited by slightly_unhinged, Feb 5, 2014
  2. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    I'm no fan of Bob Crowe or his constant desire to strike because his union members haven't had another pay increase they don't need, but on this occasion I agree with their position.
    Sure the staff might not always be helpful or competent all of the time, but having staff around is important and making people redundant in this economic crisis where they will struggle to get more work (especially work that pays anything like as much as the job they currently have). People feel safer knowing that staff are around if there is a problem, and automation is notoriously problematic however easy it might make things for us.

    I know several places with automated checkout tills and they often have some issue that requires an actual person to come and deal with, so in the end you still need a staff member anyway. There was an incident at a station I go to regularly where two people got into an argument because the automated ticket machine was taking a long time to process something. The station staff had to intervene and use CCTV and write out a report to file to the transport police. That was helpful no doubt, but if those people weren't there how would that whole incident have played out? Just have two guys stand there arguing or fighting for 10 minutes and delaying everyone else? Physical injury that involves hospital treatment? That can all be resolved by staff intervening, but TFL clearly doesn't think they have much use anymore.


    I agree the rail industry staff are ridiculously over-paid, but that's hardly their fault.
    I have a friend who works on the overground for South Eastern and he makes nearly twice as much as I'm ever likely to earn. Yet I'm the one who did higher education & went to University and he's the one who left school at 16 and has a basic education. Is that right? Not really, but I'm not blaming him for it or holding it against him. That's just how some industries work.
    I think garbage people get a pretty good salary too, some industries do it simply to encourage workers to take up a job they might find off-putting. It's hardly a stimulating career to have, but if it's not difficult and pays well for many it's great (especially given livings costs here these days).



    The Underground network wants to have fully automated trains by around 2020 anyway, so all these overpaid workers you dislike so much won't have jobs anyway. That seems to be the future in many industries, I'm not sure whether that is a good thing or not.
  3. slightly_unhinged Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2014
    star 3

    While I agree that the path to reducing our deficit is DEFINITELY for Government to subsidize, nay increase, the already bloated salary of surly incompetents, I totally disagree about them struggling to get another job. I, for one, would be keen to employ people whose main skills are standing around doing nothing, treating people like something unpleasant that they just trod in and generally behaving like a total cretin.

    There's also the point that, with salaries frozen for pretty much everyone else, the way to improve our quality of life is to increase ticket prices by more than inflation to help pay for surly, obnoxious layabouts to take home salaries more normally associated with skilled professionals.

    To celebrate, I'm going to get a giant poster of a disgusting thug who pulls in a six-figure salary for being a bolshy ****. These two may look like characters from a Viz comic, but they're a great help to this country, ensuring that the financial powerhouse of the City is half-crippled for the next couple of weeks.

    [IMG]

    Oh, you're also right that it's not someone's fault that they hold London hostage in order to secure pay rises, conditions and job security that the rest of the country could only dream of. Good luck to them! Churchill would be proud

    [IMG]
    duende and Ender Sai like this.
  4. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    Reducing staff is a good idea. With CCTV and the use of a automated tellers you don't need people there. What you can have is a service button to push that can have an operator on the other line at the same time you can have someone dispatched quicker to a broken down machine. The march of technology is eliminating some jobs. Get over it.
  5. epic Ex Mod / RSA

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 1999
    star 7
    I think it very important to have manned ticket offices open all day every day for the 4 tourists and 3 old people who can't figure out how to hover a plastic card atop the little bit that shows you were to hover the plastic card. These ticket office people, selling paper tickets to all 17 people every year, are an invaluable part of the London Public Transport System. god bless them all
    Obi-Zahn Kenobi likes this.
  6. epic Ex Mod / RSA

    Member Since:
    Jul 4, 1999
    star 7
    as a side note: if £46k is the going rate for tube drivers, bus drivers should be on about £82k given the amount of ****ty passengers and traffic they have to deal with on a daily basis. If I was a bus driver, I would sooo be striking right now.
    SithLordDarthRichie likes this.
  7. slightly_unhinged Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2014
    star 3
    Elf and Safety, along with Sense and Sensibility, is a Great British Tradition that will be sacrificed if we allow this outrage. Tourists the world over flock to this great city to be insulted by disheveled grunts in high viz jackets, and to pay more than they would in any other European city for the privilege.

    Fig. 3: a shambling neanderthal who earns as much as your bank manager gesturing at some poor bloke trying to get home from work while his colleague, promoted to team leader for her naturally condescending demeanor coupled with a single digit IQ, spouts some kind of patronising gibberish at him

    [IMG]

    Just because you're some kind of techno-visionary doesn't mean you can trample on my heritage, Beezel.


    Edit:-
    Epic, bus drivers earn significantly less but only old people and kids take the bus so they can't hold the city to ransom. They all have ridiculously advanced skills in sharp braking and acceleration, but they do it out of love.
    Last edited by slightly_unhinged, Feb 5, 2014
  8. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    Bus drivers sharp brake in their own cars as well and its a real hoot to drive with them.
  9. slightly_unhinged Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2014
    star 3
    What happened to the first 25 beezels?
    harpua and Ender Sai like this.
  10. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    I didn't know Maggie had multiple accounts here.
    Rogue_Ten likes this.
  11. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Dec 12, 2006
    star 5
  12. slightly_unhinged Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2014
    star 3
    Someone ought to exhume Maggie and wheel her into the talks. Then we can remember how great it was in the 1970s when the unions ran the country... the three day weeks, power cuts, garbage rotting uncollected in the street etc. Terrible when she came to power and, within a decade, reforged Britain from a bankrupt wreck going cap-in-hand to the IMF to the fourth largest economy in the world.

    **** it... let's close down the City and re-open the coal mines. We can all nestle under Scargill's combover when the lights go out.

    [IMG]
    Ender Sai and duende like this.
  13. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I'm glad I went to university so that I could learn how to rage about how everyone else in the world is more lazy and less deserving of their salary than I am. How very persecuted I am in all the world.
  14. slightly_unhinged Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2014
    star 3
    In the spirit of bringing back the Thatcher era:


  15. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    some sensible thoughts on the London tube strike from sam kriss
    Point Given likes this.
  16. slightly_unhinged Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2014
    star 3
    Yes, yes, skyscrapers and touchscreens are the Harbingers of Doom that will Ruin us like the Steam Engines Did. We should probably take a hammer to them.

    Much better to employ people to stand around in orange weskits being rude to people than to employ people to design, program, manufacture and maintain machines that allow us to travel quickly and efficiently. Awful idea. People would need useful skills in order to make a living. They might also be paid more and enjoy better working conditions according to how skilled they are. Hell, if they do a really good job, the machines and systems they produce might even be bought by companies in other countries, bringing money into this country. What a hideous vision of the future. Bring back Scargill. Long live people standing around in high viz vests, paid from the public purse to make our lives just that little more miserable.
    duende and Ender Sai like this.
  17. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    Goddammit I thought the title of this thread was about a London Lube Strike. But anyway, what an idiotic idea. It's a boring job, but a necessary one for safety reasons among others.
  18. Mustafar_66 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2005
    star 5
    I'm confused. Are they just getting rid of ticket offices or scrapping TfL staff in tube stations altogether?
  19. slightly_unhinged Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2014
    star 3
    Just cutting a handful of staff from ticket offices. There aren't even any involuntary redundancies on the table.

    It's more the principle that's a bone of contention. The principle that there's basically no need for ticket offices any more. One side thinks it's therefore a waste of resources to employ a small army of people to sit behind screens doing nothing all day, the other side thinks we'll all die of health and safety without them.
    Ender Sai likes this.
  20. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    Cutting jobs is always bad. Stupid technology.
  21. slightly_unhinged Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2014
    star 3
    That made Joey smile

    [IMG]
    harpua likes this.
  22. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    I cannot fathom how London even has manned ticket booths in the first place. What century is this, again?








    Confession: last time I was in London I was one of the four tourists who asked the Tube people how to get to my destination so I've contributed a significant chunk to their utility over that year. But in my defense, I'd not have needed to do that if @Mar17swgirl had her phone properly charged! :p


    Misa ab iPhono meo est.
  23. slightly_unhinged Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2014
    star 3
    The ticket booths are there to Avert Disaster, Jello.

    While using the London Underground were you eaten to death by tigers? No? Then clearly the staff were doing an awesome job.

    Also, why didn't you simply stop suddenly in front of one of the many maps and diagrams, blocking as many native Londoners as possible?

    #urdoinitwrong
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  24. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    I understand the preferred method is to stop in front of a turnstile and squint at my hand-held map.


    Misa ab iPhono meo est.
  25. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    @Rogue_Ten: I support that post because it says something positive about I,Robot. Her ornithology is terrible, though. In fact, both crows and pigeons have quite excellent navigational ability.