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Wednesday, 25 September 2002

DEATH TO TUBE DRIVERS! [lurks]

Today I had my third and final interview for a job in Guildford. It was for 10AM in the morning. Now I should explain, I live in North London. Guildford is South West of London, a main line train journey away. So it's a fairly long journey involving a bus ride to a tube station, then by tube down to Waterloo and then a train. Only today was going to be different.

Today was tube strike day. It took me 2 hours to get a bus into London city, where upon the traffic seized entirely at around Tottenham Court Road. With no other option, I walked to the south bank of the Thames and crossed Waterloo bridge on foot. Against the massive tide of people coming the other way. It took me over 3 hours to get there.

And what's this all about? The tube drivers are rejecting a 3% inflation busting pay offer, taking them to £31000, they want more. More. That's right, they want more money than that. Now... Firefighters are calling to be paid £30K and that's fair enough, emergency service, danger money and all that. But tube drivers? I mean, have you peeked into the cab?

The sum total of the skill involved in driving a tube train is controlling a throttle handle type device which sets the train in motion and stops it when released. There's some buttons for doors, a passenger PA and an intercom from the 'controllers'. That's it. Basically when the light goes green, driver pushes handle forward until the train hits a red light. Then he stops until the light goes green. If he should arrive at a station, he opens the doors for a bit.

This is the incredibly taxing job that somehow is worth more money than bus drivers (wtf!), nurses, fightfighters, teachers and all sorts of other people that actually had to go to University to get some skillz and engage more than 4 brain cells to the job.

This has me fuming in anger. And that Red Ken bastard is saying that when the tube is handed to him and his American-import 'transport guru' boyfriend, he's going to sack all the management at London Underground. Apparently by allowing this strike to go ahead, they don't have London's best interests at heard according to Red Ken. Erm, actually they're saying that they don't have the money to pay more and quite frankly what they've offered should be enough - as it bloody well is!

Death to Ken. Death to tube drivers. Sack the fucking lot of them!. Hose down the guys selling the big issue out the front of the stations, give them a 5 minute crash course in tube driving (that's the advanced course) and set them off to work for bloody £20K a year.

This is what will happen when I am made King. I have the best ideas.

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