Sunday, October 03, 2010

Tube strike a go go

There's a strike on on the London tube at the moment and, despite having a bit of a panic that I might not get home before it starts I've just about survived the horror of having to take an alternative form of transport.

I know that anything that causes mild inconvenience is always treated as a gross affront to our human rights and anyone exercising their actual human rights is to be automatically denounced as selfish and evil -but somehow I still support the strike.

Is it because I'm a godless communist? Well, yes and no. Certainly being a godless communist helps if you're going to oppose the press, the government, the Mayor of London and just downright, globally accepted, common sense. However, there is some common sense on my side too. Allow me to explain.

The rail unions RMT and TSSA (the latter of which is neither run by nor bossed about by Bob Crow) are staging another 24 hour strike against the proposal to reduce staffing levels on the tube.

Transport for London have called the strikes "pointless" because there are no proposed compulsory redundancies and no threat to staff wages. I'm sure TfL bosses don't do anything that doesn't benefit them directly but tube workers are a better class of person. They are striking for safety, not financial advancement - and frankly I'm not the only person who thinks that protecting safety on the tube is far from "pointless".

If this strike wins it will benefit Londoners in an extremely direct way. Not only will the plans to undermine staffing levels reduce customer service on the tube, making life more inconvenient permanently, not just just for one day - it will also directly cost lives. Maybe someone you know, maybe you or maybe a stranger - but lives none the less.

Once again it is the unions that are the only barrier between the interests of the public and the interests of the wealthy. Once again the press and the government will denounce the strikes, and complain that each strike costs us money... but then that's the only thing that has any point for them, and we have the choice to accept or reject those values in favour of something better.

1 comment:

Joseph said...

Absolutley Jim. Another aspect of this is that many disabled Londoners and their organisations strongly oppose these plans and for very good reason. See Transport for All's comments on this

When TFA, whose director I used to be, tried to bring this to the attention of the Greater London Assembly meeting recently, the Tories present walked out in protest, rendering the meeting inquorate and thus incapable of debating the motion on the strike and the cuts. This is the Tory sense of democracy and also of addressing the concerns of disabled Londoners.