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Time to make trade unions financially responsible for their actions?

245

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    Er, yes they are. And they should be made responsible for the financial loss of the public- bankrupt a few of the greedy gibbons.
    Who do you think has cost more money to the public? Workers for their occasional strike? Or the private operators of those services for their ever-bigger ticket price hikes?

    I'm williing to bet that for every quid your average passener has lost due to strike action in the last 10 years he's lost 50 more due to extortionate price hikes by greedy scumbag speculators- sorry, private operators.

    Fair enough if you think this strike is unfair but don't call for unions to be dismantled because you're barking up the wrong tree. Call for public services to be run publicly and you will see your interests and pocket protected a lot better.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I (foolishly) got an annual bus pass through work, so I'm kinda stuck with it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ive seen buss drivers take a lot of shit of people, it seems fairly hard to me (but not difficult) driving a big buss down city streets takes concentration.

    I wouldnt want to work for £7 an hour, its not much, currently I can skive off working for half an hour, pretty much when I want and play on the internet, apply for other jobs or just read the news, (or post pointless bollox)

    They actually have to work constantly.

    My cousion gets £10 an hour for driving a forklift on a building site, and he turns up late leaves early gets a couple of hours overtime for nothing each day, and if he works saturday, he gets paid for the full day despite only working a couple of hours.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Saying that then, when I work on tills at the Co-op I'll do a 6 hour stint on there in one go, I'm constantly working and therefore should get paid more than £5.39/hr.

    Out of interest then, how much do you all think bus drivers should get paid?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    Gonna elaborate further?

    Stagecoach are nothing more than a contractor- they are still responsible to the PTE that pays for many of their routes.

    Therefore Stagecoach and its staff are public servants, and the staff who fail to do their duty due to extreme avarice should be made to pay for it. I would sack the lot of them and then make them personally liable for every penny the PTE and the people of Newcastle have lost.

    Why should I have to fork out £25 in parking charges just so that some greedy cunt who earns 20% more than I do can have a extra day off in the half-term holidays? Why isn't a 15.4% (for the longest servers) pay increase good enough for them? And what moral right to they have to blackmail and extort against the people of this city?

    Stop being blind to Stagecoach (I'd happily see them gone too) and discuss the issue.


    you sound quite bitter kermit
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote:
    Who do you think has cost more money to the public? Workers for their occasional strike? Or the private operators of those services for their ever-bigger ticket price hikes?

    Not sure what your point is, I don't agree with private operation of buses.

    But the point is that these greedy scum would have striked anyway- they don't care about anyone but themselves. Hell, if my work gave me a 15.4% pay increase I'd piss myself with excitement.

    Most of the fare increases have been due to fuel and staffing costs anyway- Stagecoach certainly haven't seen a dramatic year-on-year increase in profits, although obviously they do make quite a bit of money.

    Buses are too expensive, which is why I get so upset at the appalling service I get every day from the morons that Stagecoach employ. And then I get this- serious inconvenience and financial outlay because the greedy skiving bastards can't be arsed going to work in the school holidays.

    I have no sympathy with bus drivers because they earn quite a bit more than me for what is a very easy job. Most problems they do get are of their own making anyway- maybe people wouldn't get narked with them if they turned up in their bus instead of having a cig and being 10 minutes late.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Out of interest then, how much do you all think bus drivers should get paid?
    Since bus companies are privatised perhaps they should get paid according to their company's profits and performance.

    Seeing as the Stagecoach's profits for the year ending June 2006 were £156.6m I should think its train and bus drivers, who at the end of the day are people who are making those profits possible (together with maintenance, repairs and other key workers) deserve a lot more than what they get paid.

    Wonders of capitalism eh? :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If they paid more, they might have more choice over who they hire, which might improve their services. Mind you, if they are making profit from a service that (from a customer's point of view) needs improving they probably won't bother as they still have the profits. Exploiting the fact that people need to use the service, however bad it is and don't really have much alternative.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Compared to turnover those profits are nothing. But I'd say the drivers deserve to get paid less, with bus fares coming down to a sensible level from their offensive highs. Profits should be given to bus users, not bus drivers.

    Out of interest, would you agree with me if Stagecoach was owned by the PTE, like it should be?

    Blagsta, still not got anything constructive to say? Still not going to say something to do with the debate? Now there is a surprise.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No, I think the drivers and the users should benefit from the profit.

    I'm all for people on a low wage to be paid more ...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    Compared to turnover those profits are nothing. But I'd say the drivers deserve to get paid less, with bus fares coming down to a sensible level from their offensive highs.
    Do you want to talk about "offensive high salaries"? Don't look at the drivers then. Look in the boardroom.

    I'd say it's the leeches in the boardroom and specially the chairman of Stagecoach the ones who should be paid a lot less than they get so fares can come down.

    But of course we can't.


    Out of interest, would you agree with me if Stagecoach was owned by the PTE, like it should be?
    I'm not sure who the PTE is but supposing is the local council, I'm not opposed in principle to agreeing that a particular strike is unfair. I would never agree to dismantling or curbing any more power from the unions though, or to take a pay cut from the drivers.

    There is a lot of fucking money around in this country. It doesn't make sense or is fair to take it from ordinary working class people- and that includes the users of the service as well as the drivers- to pay for a decent public transport
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote:
    No, me neither. You would think anyone who says those words is a millionaire CEO of a multinational, rather than actually a worker.

    And yet i am an actual worker...makes you think just how far the trades unions have gone down the tube in this country doesnt it?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If they have gone down the drain is because the Wicked Witched all but murdered them and took reforms too far.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Possibly so, but they are still down the drain. saying they should exist now because of what they did years ago when they do nothing now isnt an argument to keep them. Blaire has also hardly helped...you do realise Labour has been responsible for more mines closing and other industries ending that had powerful trade unions at one point, more then the torries. Even i was shocked by that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    im not shocked. Blair IS a tory.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bullseye wrote:
    Blaire has also hardly helped...you do realise Labour has been responsible for more mines closing and other industries ending that had powerful trade unions at one point, more then the torries. Even i was shocked by that.

    Yet they keep giving him money by the bucket load, fools.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bullseye wrote:
    Possibly so, but they are still down the drain. saying they should exist now because of what they did years ago when they do nothing now isnt an argument to keep them.
    No, they should be kept because they continue to fight for the rights of workers.

    If unions were abolished tomorrow your salary, your holiday entitlement and your working conditions would go down the drain within a year or two at the most. You can be sure of that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote:
    No, they should be kept because they continue to fight for the rights of workers.

    If unions were abolished tomorrow your salary, your holiday entitlement and your working conditions would go down the drain within a year or two at the most. You can be sure of that.

    What of the European Law that overrides British law, doesn't that guarantee most of the things the Unions used to fight for when they were more active?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    How do you think workers rights became laws in the first place?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bullseye wrote:
    What of the European Law that overrides British law, doesn't that guarantee most of the things the Unions used to fight for when they were more active?
    I don't think the EU covers it, no. Well, they cover a few basics, but that's it.

    Without the unions, if an employer wants to give its employees 1% annual rise despite the company making massive profits, there is nothing employees or the EU can do about it.

    And you can bet your house that many employers would do just that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote:
    Without the unions, if an employer wants to give its employees 1% annual rise despite the company making massive profits, there is nothing employees or the EU can do about it.

    Within reason, they could leave. My old place did the same and basically so many people left they began to fall apart.

    Of course this doesnt protect those at the bottom, only skilled and semi-skilled workers.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote:
    Within reason, they could leave. My old place did the same and basically so many people left they began to fall apart.

    Of course this doesnt protect those at the bottom, only skilled and semi-skilled workers.

    But aren't those at the bottom the least likely to be union members anyway? Its a long time since I looked at it, but if I remember the majority of union members were skilled (or at least semi-skilled) with another significant group in the public sector (so highy skilled or totally unskilled depending on your view)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't know what level of skill they can be said to have, but the fact remains that many millions of workers in this country, from car plants to various factories to many other industries, would be royally fucked if the unions weren't there to fight their corner.

    It's all too easy to suggest that if you don't like the wages offered by your employer you simply walk out and find something that pays better. In real life that simply does not happen for millions of people.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Blagsta wrote:
    How do you think workers rights became laws in the first place?


    Why is your whole argument when you respond to my quotes about how the unions did something once upon a time, when i am talking about now. Aladdin and the others are actually making arguments but you just keep harping on like the only reason to keep the unions is because 30 years ago they got workers rights and that justifies it. Why not keep the empire and the slave trade, it made a lot of money, if thats the sum of your argument.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What the fuck are you on about?

    You keep claiming that trade unions are pointless, I'm pointing out they got you the rights you have today. What on earth do you think would happen if they all disappeared tomorrow? Neverheard the phrase "those that don't understand history are doomed to repeat it"?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote:
    I don't know what level of skill they can be said to have, but the fact remains that many millions of workers in this country, from car plants to various factories to many other industries, would be royally fucked if the unions weren't there to fight their corner.

    You mean like the female staff at North Cumbria NHS Trust who were abandoned by their union, Unison, because they dared to go for back-payment of wage discrimination?

    They won a lot of money, and were roundly criticised by Unison for doing so.
    It's all too easy to suggest that if you don't like the wages offered by your employer you simply walk out

    Isn't that exactly what the greedy filth at Stagecoach have done? They didn't use their union either- the union recommended they accept the pay deal.

    But this isn't really the point. Why should I have to fork out a fortune just because someone doesn't like the 15.4% pay increase that they've been offered? Why should my small wage be stretched further by having to fork out another £50 in transport costs for a week?

    If people go on strike they affect third parties- usually people on a smaller salary and with less secure employment- and I have yet to hear a good reason why they should not be liable for these losses. People who don't have cars couldn't get to work on Monday, which is fantastic if you're a temp. People who did get to work couldn't get home- fantastic for the army of teenage girls stuck at the MetroCentre working late in the shops with no cab fare and a ten mile walk home.

    So much for "solidarity" eh? Fuck the temps, fuck those who can't afford a car, fuck the teenagers who are faced with a long walk home in the dark, fuck everyone but yourself. Typical trade unionist attitude, that is.

    Why should unions be allowed to get away with costing people vast sums of money when it is not their fight, why should unions be allowed to seriously compromise the safety of people? They shouldn't- and the TGWU and its members should be responsible for every single penny of third party loss caused by their strike.

    Explain why this isn't the case.

    I sent a letter to the TGWU asking the very same thing, and haven't received a response yet. How typical of the selfish greedy pond life.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote:
    You mean like the female staff at North Cumbria NHS Trust who were abandoned by their union, Unison, because they dared to go for back-payment of wage discrimination?

    They won a lot of money, and were roundly criticised by Unison for doing so.
    One case.


    Isn't that exactly what the greedy filth at Stagecoach have done? They didn't use their union either- the union recommended they accept the pay deal.
    By walking out I meant leaving their jobs. Millions of people in this country can't simply leave their jobs if the pay is shit. They have a family to feed.

    That's why the unions are extremely important to workers everywhere.
    But this isn't really the point. Why should I have to fork out a fortune just because someone doesn't like the 15.4% pay increase that they've been offered? Why should my small wage be stretched further by having to fork out another £50 in transport costs for a week?

    If people go on strike they affect third parties- usually people on a smaller salary and with less secure employment- and I have yet to hear a good reason why they should not be liable for these losses.
    Whereas I can accept in this particular case you and others might feel very hard done by, I hope you are not questioning the general right of strike by workers. For every case where employees might have been 'greedy' there are a hundred when it is the employer who's being a tight fisted cunt. I'm more than happy to put up with the inconvenience striking workers cause- one day it could be me striking.
    So much for "solidarity" eh? Fuck the temps, fuck those who can't afford a car, fuck the teenagers who are faced with a long walk home in the dark, fuck everyone but yourself. Typical trade unionist attitude, that is.
    No. That's how strikes work. If you work out a better way to safeguard the rights and conditions of workers please let us know.

    Last I looked, employers weren't exactly jumping at the chance of giving employees a decent wage and decent working conditions. There might be a few exceptions to that rule. But not many. Not many at all.
    Why should unions be allowed to get away with costing people vast sums of money when it is not their fight, why should unions be allowed to seriously compromise the safety of people? They shouldn't- and the TGWU and its members should be responsible for every single penny of third party loss caused by their strike.
    Funny you mention safety. The only people looking after passengers' safety in the transport industry have been the unions. They were the ones campaigning for second drivers in train cabins. They were the ones protesting against reduced safety checks (the only reason for this was to increase profit for greedy bosses who don't give a flying fuck about passenger safety, as dozens upon dozens of mangled bodies in our railways over the last 12 years can testify). They were the ones denouncing faulty equipment.

    You've got a knack for attacking the very people who look after your interests and for protecting the very people who don't give a shit about you, be as a worker or as a user, don't you?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote:
    No. That's how strikes work. If you work out a better way to safeguard the rights and conditions of workers please let us know.

    Safeguarding the rights of workers? :lol:

    safeguarding the pockets of selfish bus drivers, more like.
    Last I looked, employers weren't exactly jumping at the chance of giving employees a decent wage and decent working conditions. There might be a few exceptions to that rule. But not many. Not many at all.

    If evil nasty immoral Stagecoach are offering a 16% pay increase, I'd say that was a decent wage. Wouldn't you?
    You've got a knack for attacking the very people who look after your interests and for protecting the very people who don't give a shit about you, be as a worker or as a user, don't you?

    I don't especially care if Stagecoach give a shit about me as long as the bus comes when it is supposed to. Which is would do if it wasn't for the bone-idle skiving pond filth that drive them.

    It wasn't Stagecoach that made me have to fork out the money for the car parking, was it? It wasn't Stagecoach that left those who don't drive stood in the rain waiting for a bus that didn't come, was it? It was the TGWU and the greedy filth that pass as its members.

    As an aside, Stagecoach's profit is about 10-15% of turnover. Sure I'd prefer that 10% to be in my pocket, but its not excessive profiteering, and its not as much extra as the avaricious pond life working for them want.

    I don't think the right to strike should be restricted, but people in positions of responsibility should be financially liable for their failure to do an action. Just as a company should be liable, so should striking colleagues. The only organisation they shouldn't be liable to is their employer.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Funny you mention safety. The only people looking after passengers' safety in the transport industry have been the unions. They were the ones campaigning for second drivers in train cabins. They were the ones protesting against reduced safety checks (the only reason for this was to increase profit for greedy bosses who don't give a flying fuck about passenger safety, as dozens upon dozens of mangled bodies in our railways over the last 12 years can testify). They were the ones denouncing faulty equipment.

    Weren't they also the ones who went on strike after the bosses sacked several workers for contravening the zero tolerance for alcohol on premises.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/3485111.stm

    The Unions don't give a fuck about passenger safety either - they care for their members, which is all well and good and the point of unions, but let's not paint them as saints of the world's oppressed because they're not.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They are a lot closer to the passengers/users and their interests than company owners will ever be. Let's be clear about that too.

    It's not trade unions that refuse to carry out safety inspections or cuts numbers of staff on trains in order to maximise profits.

    That should be all passengers need to know when it comes to asserting what side to support in a dispute.

    Kermit, I hear what you're saying and in this particular incident I might even agree with you. I'm just trying to make a clear diferentiation between an individual case and the merits of trade unions in general.
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