Rail Strikes are surely nothing less than attempted EXTORTION
Yet again the rail unions have become militant over demands for increased PAY, BENEFITS and JOB SECURITY. Is this entirely reasonable at all and especially post-BRexit/Covid?
Every one of us in the UK is struggling with the rising costs from BRExit, Covid and now the Russia-Ukraine war.
As a result of Covid, many workers continue to work from home with the result that rail passenger revenues are reduced relative to the halcion pre-Covid days and that means the rail operators have less reserves for investment and of course pay.
So their demand is for inflation-matching pay rises across all rail staff. Brilliant! But somebody needs to explain why rail staff should be immunised from inflation as opposed to anyone else and particularly the NHS and care staff who fought so valiantly - and often heroically - through the Covis crises?
The NHS will not - cannot - be awarded anywhere near what the rail unions are demanding!
RAIL SAFETY & JOB SECURITY
We live in an age of growing AI and are ever nearer having driverless cars and buses on our roads.
Yet the rail unions claim that any exploitation of automated controls (and the associated staffing reductions) will compromise safety.
This old chestnut has been their argument since and before Thatcher but they at least don't get tired of airing it every time. How many rail staff travel abroad by air and do any of them complain that using autopilot compromises their safety?
Rail safety is imperative but neither the unions nor the management should have the final say on what is an "acceptable safety provision". Both sides are potentially blinkkered by self-interest so this at least should be a government - or at least an impartial - decision.
Any successful organisation relies on co-operative teamwork between staff and management for greater performance and efficiency. To whatever extent that is present and successful ( these strikes suggest otherwise ) then some open-minded review of both pay and conditions - pensions etc. would be appropriate.
While everyone else is struggling with petrol costs and many rely exclusively on rail transport for jobs and critical examinations - medical or educational - the union disruption of society is at the very least excessive, inherently selfish and, while it may further destabilise what has increasingly become a shaky government, it would seem to offer little encouragement or opportunity for public sympathy and support.