Monday, 20 July 2009

London Midland latest

This just in from 37422...

Mike Hodson the new Managing Director of London Midland has inherited a franchise in a disastrous state, with costs running out of control and ever greater demands being placed on the wage bill.

RMT are calling for strike action for all non-traincrew grades. So what's this latest rumpus with the union about then?

Well, we need to go back to December 2008; LM were so short of traincrew (despite weekly briefs from the Dear Leader telling staff "there isn't a traincrew shortage") that they offered drivers a guaranteed minimum payment of 12 hours for Rest Day Work and guards 10hrs and a 1/10 and both grades double time for Sundays as an incentive to keep trains running.

The double time for Sundays came later as Sundays are voluntary days, and as the traincrew were cleaning up on rest days they weren't inclined to turn up for their other guaranteed overtime shift on Sundays, so mass N/A became the norm, hence the need for a further 'fiscal inducement'.

So, as the LM management were busy pandering to the traincrew - the station grades got a little hacked off with this (can't think why) and put in a mass claim for all affected staff for the same minimums as the traincrew.

This has been chucked out by the management, schedule 17 is clearly unimportant when compared to schedule 8, so now LM have the ballot.

Quite how the RMT see this one stacking up I don't know... but it really is a groundless reason for calling for strike action.

I wonder if the public know the following:

1) How much traincrew basic salary is
2) That the above have a guaranteed 4 day week over a roster cycle
3) Sundays are voluntary
4) How much they've been bunged just to keep trains running

Then compare it to comparably skilled jobs, where you get your time stopped to go to the bog, you can be sacked at the drop of a hat, not to mention clocking in and out, etc...

And finally, why don't LM just get to grips with the non-productive element so whilst on paper they're not short of traincrew (their Dear Leader wasn't being economical with the truth, honest!) but in reality many at New St & Bletchley haven't worked a train in months.

Hodson clearly has his work cut out.

UPDATE: This from 'Andrew'...

I am an avid visitor to your excellent site and normally find it very interesting and amusing.

However I just cannot let the article on the staff shortages on London Midland go without expressing my disappointment at the unprovoked and malicious attack on traincrew that was tagged onto the end of it.

Now, unless I am mistaken the article was referring to the RMT balloting Non Traincrew for action over bonus payments to Traincrew.

So why does the article end with this comment: "Quite how the RMT see this one stacking up I don't know... but it really is a groundless reason for calling for strike action."

Which is then followed by an attack on traincrew?

It makes no sense whatsoever when the action is NOT by traincrew.

I am a driver but not with London Midland but the article is the typical attack on train drivers usually found on websites unrelated to rail - as is shows utter ignorance of a drivers job and the conditions we have - was it written by a failed applicant?

As it happens , I entered the job from a skilled profession and can quite happily compare it - it would pay a very similar sum if my last job included the shifts and weekend working.

My main point however is that the article pours scorn on the RMTs possible strike action by non train crew but then attacks traincrew - it makes no sense whatsoever!

For Monday read Thursday and screw Parliament

Oh dear.

As suggested by The Major it looks like DafT will in fact make the electrification announcement this Thursday, after Parliament has risen.

So whilst Gordon Brown tinkers around the margins with his 'National Council for Democratic Renewal' and Constitutional Reform Bill, which he assures us are designed to restore faith in Parliamentary democracy, it's clearly business as usual at the Department for Transport.

Despite all the rhetoric it is clear that this discredited government remains deeply contemptuous of the democratic process.