Have a rant: on unions

Bob Crow. Two words that strike fear into the heart of anyone who uses London Underground. With strike being a particularly pertinent choice of word.

The latest reason for Crow and his RMT cronies to attempt to bring the Tube network to a halt is alleged ‘breaches of safety’ by London Underground bosses.

Which – on the surface – is fair enough. But dig a little deeper and you will find that these breaches happened when London Underground management had the temerity to keep the majority of stations open on New Year’s Eve and 9 January, while station staff were
busy striking.

The moral of the story seems to be: “If the first strike doesn’t succeed, strike, strike, and strike again.”

Especially when management – in this case Transport for London – has a new boss and you want to send him a signal.

Speaking of signals, January also saw train driver members of the Aslef union holding a wildcat strike in protest at the sacking of a driver who admitted to being asleep at the wheel, passing a 5mph signal at 29mph, failing to stop at a station and going through a red signal. Loath as I am to quote rabid right-wing tabloid columnists: “You couldn’t make it up.”

As a card-carrying unionist, I am the first in line to complain when management attacks employee rights.

Unions play a key role in ensuring staff are treated fairly, and curbing the more extravagant excesses of management.

But the likes of the RMT and Aslef are doing the entire union movement a disservice with their constant posturing.

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