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Rail strikes

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Rail strikes

Old 22nd Jun 2022, 12:38
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Uplinker,

So much to agree with there!

We can't keep expanding forever. We have to find a way of making the economy work without continuous expansion. I would like to see CEOs and senior managers have much more restrained pay. They award themselves hundreds of thousands while telling their workers to accept lower pay. Look at what P & O has just done, and look at the state of aviation Ts & Cs. If the pilots union and pilots went on strike to protect safety, I think aviation would be in a much better place.
The constant expansion is a flaw in the capitalist model, already the planet is being exploited beyond its means and something has to give. The one reason for constant economic growth is to ensure we all "feel better off" but where does it end?

Re £30k not being enough to live on: Why have 4 children? Unless they were quads, triplets or twins, then the parents could have stopped after the first 2. Have all those kids got smart phones, expensive electronic toys and iPads etc? Have both parents got a car?
Indeed, 4 kids is excessive, unless a biological accident such as triplets or quads. Of course we don't know the children's ages but if they are over ten years then yes, I bet they have got smart phones, and probably with expensive contracts (paid for by the parents) as well. Tablets appear to be a necessity in senior schools these days, but I'm not sure how many schools subsidise them for less well of families. As for cars, that's probably a given, I mean how can children possibly get to school without being driven. You omitted to mention smoking and / or drinking as well. Both should be a luxury but in many cases, partly through addiction, they are a necessity. All that said living on £30k p.a is still a challenge for a young family, even if they're frugal.

There was a woman on the radio complaining that she had to use a food bank, which she "luckily heard about on facebook". ..........So she obviously had a smart phone or laptop - what does that cost per month? money better spent on food. When I moved out of my parent's house aged 22 - at a time when the mortgage rates were 15% - for the first few months, I lived on baked potatoes. A 25Kg sack of spuds cost about £2 then, and the cheapest microwave cost £80. I also had an old second-hand fridge that cost me £5.
Again too right! When people start out now they want new everything, second hand isn't good enough, be that living and dining furniture, TV or white goods. You only have to see how little second hand three piece suites sell for, or "brown furniture". People are often financially strapped when they branch out from Mum and Dad's "hotel" (though hardly a hotel, many now don't even pay board!!) but instead doing as you, and I did, buying 2nd hand stuff, going without things like a TV until we could afford them, everything has to be brand spanking new, and bought on credit and when, as is now happening, inflation hits and budgets are stretched they have no way of getting out of these credit agreements to spend the money on essentials - hence the trips to food banks, something we never had in the 70s and 80s when we went through serious inflation, coupled with high unemployment. As for cooking, why bother when you can use an app to get meals delivered!! I will believe things are really getting tight when the likes of Uber Eats and Just Eat start reporting falling business and profits.

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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 12:50
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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This thread reminds me of one of the several times I was made redundant. My ex-employer had the decency to fund my placement with a sort of job finding and advisory agent. I was asked, "Could you live on a lower salary than you had in your last job?" My somewhat surprised respone was, "Yes, many people do, why do you ask?" He replied that some clients said that they couldn't.
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 13:39
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cornish Jack View Post
One can see, from that, just what sort of reasoning process drives the employers' stance. Presumably, you applaud the "outdated and inefficient practices" which they (the employers) use - "Do what we want and accept job losses and we'll reward you with less-than-inflation pay increases".... good thinking Batman !
CJ, with your reasoning, you would be complaining about children being banned from going up chimneys because it would be doing them out of a jobÖ
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 14:00
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
That posting just goes to show just how out of touch some people clearly are with the cost of living and cost of childcare in UK - the UK, probably due in no small part to far too much bureaucracy and red tape - has among the very highest costs for childcare globally.

£30k will probably result in a net figure of £24k, a convenient £2k per month. If you've got four kids then the minimum number of bedrooms required in your home is three, away from the lunacy that is London to rent privately such a home is going to cost somewhere in the region of £900 per month, heat and light around £250 per month, food probably £200 per month and council tax around £150 per month. That lot comes to £1500 per month and that is before water, communications, insurances, transport costs, and clothing, including school uniforms. £30k gross barely gets a family to break even.

So, to his wife getting off her arse and finding a job. That will probably require childcare, either at nursery for the littler ones, or before and after school clubs for the older ones. Teens might be trusted to look after themselves. My daughter, who is just changing jobs to an office environment and to work full time has got to find £1,000 up front for nursery and pre/after school clubs and that will equate to a big chunk of her new salary, and she has a small brood of just two kids. Working part time simply doesn't pay, working full time is marginal, but she will come out ahead.

Things weren't so tough when we were young, and in my parents day they could like reasonably comfortably one one (good) salary. You really need to wake up and see how the real world is for people in the workforce today.

On the subject of the thread itself, to offer 2 or 3 percent with inflation of 9% plus is nonsense, and unrealistic. Equally unrealistic are the stupid practices that the RMT, ASLEF and I suspect TASSA all cling to in the 21st century. Neither side is blameless, and the hand of government politicising the dispute is clear to see. However thankfully, since the strikes are really a London and Southeast issue we are less affected living in an area where we aren't so rail dependent.

great post, my thoughts exactly
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 14:02
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Pay increase of 7% is very high and I imagine the negotiated position will be around 4-5% applied variably across the role types probably with caveats and KPIs bring achieved.

And the business transformation. This really means digitisation of roles leading to automation as well as customers self handling. That will take out a lot of roles. I would guess 10% headcount reduction will be the outcome of that.

But it is the way of the modern world now. All large orgs are at it and there is no way of stopping it - like a runaway train.
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 14:06
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Saintsman View Post
CJ, with your reasoning, you would be complaining about children being banned from going up chimneys because it would be doing them out of a job…
Spot on! In a purely capitalist system, human beings would be bought and sold in the market place. We have national standards to ensure a reasonable treatment for all as a matter of human rights.
Of course, human ingenuity always finds ways to circumvent legal barriers. 'Free trade' is one such illustration, it allows the actual sweat shop labor and massive pollution to happen outside of our legal framework, thus underpricing and displacing those domestic suppliers as still abide by the rules.
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 14:37
  #47 (permalink)  
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Having gone from 777 Captain to a retirement job as a train driver, I love some of the comments on here. Firstly the comments about .. let’s automate the system and get rid of drivers…..Have you any idea ( if it was even possible) , to do this? I would suggest that I could set up 5 bases on the moon for less. ( The UK network I am talking about)

Secondly… I work on a “small” network, only 850 kms of track. Training for this network took 8 months. ( A Railway in Australia). Driving trains is not as easy as it looks… there is a lot to it. It’s like my friends at work telling me.. you pilots do nothing but push buttons on autopilot.

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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 14:54
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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I made no mention to automating driving roles for pretty obvious reasons.

But like any big org there will be a shed load of back office roles, duplicate regional roles and customer facing roles that they will have there eye on.

They will do this regardless of the Union and now possibly despite of the Union.
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 15:29
  #49 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Local Variation View Post
This really means digitisation of roles leading to automation as well as customers self handling. That will take out a lot of roles. I would guess 10% headcount reduction will be the outcome of that.
10% would be a very modest outcome. Rail workers appear to be on a 35 hour week which is at odds with the rest of the economy. Agreeing a deal where they do 37.5 hours takes it to around 17%

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 22nd Jun 2022 at 18:37. Reason: Fix quote
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 15:38
  #50 (permalink)  
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To get to driverless trains, you need to totally change the signalling system. Plans are underway to change the UK network to one where the signal state travels with the train. This will enable several things including a denser use of the existing rail infrastructure i.e. trains moving with less distance between them. Another is driverless trains. The key technology is high mesh radio networks and that technology is here today. Those continuous concrete ducts that you see alongside the tracks are perfect for high fibre count cables which will carry the 5G traffic to radio masts every few hundred yards.

I used to think battery powered driverless cars would never happen.

Last edited by B Fraser; 22nd Jun 2022 at 17:25. Reason: typo
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 15:50
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=B Fraser;11250130][QUOTE=Local Variation;11250095]This really means digitisation of roles leading to automation as well as customers self handling. That will take out a lot of roles. I would guess 10% headcount reduction will be the outcome of that.

10% would be a very modest outcome. Rail workers appear to be on a 35 hour week which is at odds with the rest of the economy. Agreeing a deal where they do 37.5 hours takes it to around 17%
Most likely. I have witnessed all of this before. Phase 1 - centralise UK roles offshore aka India or Romania. HC reduction in UK. Huge savings in payroll. Phase 2 - digitise and reduce footprint in offshore.

Rinse and repeat,
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 15:57
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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I've yet to see a car powered by batter

Either Pancake or Beer
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 15:59
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Iíd sack the bloody lot of them and tell them they can reapply for their jobs with a new contract
would you have them flogged as well?
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 16:06
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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I love the comments that "4 kids are excessive". People have kids, get divorced, or become widowed and might remarry someone in the same situation. 2 kids from previous relationship + 2 kids from the other partner's previous relationship = 4 kids.

In other threads, it is stressed that the western world needs a higher birth rate or our system will implode. So we want to encourage childbirth and look down on people with "proper" jobs that dare to have children? Something is wrong here.
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 17:10
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Driverless trains and radio control? As a (admittedly retired) professional radio engineer for fifty years, I have my very serious doubts. For the last 13 years of my career, I was doing systems engineering and standards for medical implants, where the acceptable Bit Error Ratio was one one thousand million. The required ranges are a lot less than for train control.. How reliable is the radio control on the Cambrian line? More so that the digital messages it sends out See "RAIB report 17/2019 Loss of safety critical signalling data on the Cambrian Coast line, 20 October 2017". Plus, just how much spectrum is available guaranteed interference free? Getting rid of drivers may seem attractive - until something goes wrong. Similarly with getting rid of guards (or train managers - call 'em what you will). Until you have got rid of all user worked crossings, you have the danger of the train hitting something solid on the track. If the train is one man operation and it hits a tractor, who is going to keep the passengers safe? How do you stop them getting out onto an active running line, maybe with live rails? Who is going to call for assistance, especially if the train is in a radio 'not spot'?

Safety costs money. Accidents cost even more....

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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 17:23
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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What sort of birth rate would suit the UK. Considering the social grades ....AB, C1 C2, DE. ?
The fertility rates tend to be high in the DE and trending downwards in the AB , often through sheer fright, simple observation and postponement !
Do we need more of the same ? It is very difficult to consider.
Poverty levels...housing...lack of opportunity. Endless...
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 17:28
  #57 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post

We are not in our first flush of youth and there is a lot of ageism around, which is illegal, but companies find ways of getting around that and some still ask for your date of birth on their application forms. I even volunteered for the RNLI lifeboats and the coastguard, but they said I was too old.

So there must be many like us who are perfectly fit, (75Kg and run 5-10km every week), and capable of work, but who are considered too old, (by employers half our age, no doubt). If we are not going to get our state pensions until 67, companies need to urgently revise their recruitment criteria and employ older candidates.

Re £30k not being enough to live on: Why have 4 children? Unless they were quads, triplets or twins, then the parents could have stopped after the first 2. Have all those kids got smart phones, expensive electronic toys and iPads etc? Have both parents got a car?

There was a woman on the radio complaining that she had to use a food bank, which she "luckily heard about on facebook". ..........So she obviously had a smart phone or laptop - what does that cost per month? money better spent on food. When I moved out of my parent's house aged 22 - at a time when the mortgage rates were 15% - for the first few months, I lived on baked potatoes. A 25Kg sack of spuds cost about £2 then, and the cheapest microwave cost £80. I also had an old second-hand fridge that cost me £5.
First, many thanks to Chris the Robot for explaining matters ...

And thus to the post above, oh, the pathos ! and indeed, another testimony to reincarnation

Added to which.. " If you have have 4 kids and make £30000 and feel you are struggling, tell her to get off her arse and get a job!"

For somebody so enthused about modernisation, possibly a little introspection may be applicable...as far as I'm aware, albeit you are far from alone on here, the concept of Victorian patriarchy is no longer in vogue....this being the 21st century you understand.

To the strikes. How do the "smash the unions ! " chums feel about the proposal to close ticket offices ?....all in favour presumably, saves a few quid, and besides, everybody has a mobile / app / can use a ticket machine or knows exactly where they are going...no they don't. And how would you feel, if, and NR are about to begin the formal consultation process leading to compulsory redundancies, but, with the caveat natural wastage / voluntary redundancy may reduce the numbers, you were told to go, but, somebody you're working with gets a pay rise.

Lets remember, whilst it was Major who privatised the railway's, the ideology came from the unlamented deceased, who made it clear she didn't like the railways and refused to travel by train...various forms of freight wagons from that era come to mind if she had done.

Then came the disaster, sadly, quite literally, of "Railtrack " when every grubby get rich quick civil engineering firm saw the opportunity to boost their balance sheets.

The infrastructure has been mentioned so how about a positive mention for two that have benefitted myself and other rail users.

The Norton Bridge junction fly over....now there's a piece of civil engineering that's a credit to the construction sector and NR...and the re-alignment / improved signalling at Derby station and the notorious bottle neck junction...nothing like formerly sitting there admiring the view, looking at your watch, and thinking "yep, going to miss my connection ".

This strike action will actually affect me, albeit not significantly...however...

I wholeheartedly support the industrial action.

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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 17:43
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Flyhighfirst View Post
If you have have 4 kids and make £30000 and feel you are struggling, tell her to get off her arse and get a job!
I know this waaaay too touch-feely for JB, but have you considered the possibility that ... she already has a job?
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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 18:45
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sue VÍtements View Post
would you have them flogged as well?
stop putting ideas in my head



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Old 22nd Jun 2022, 19:16
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Re automation:

In 27 years as a pilot I have had two occasions when a perfectly 'normal' autoland threw a wobbly which would have ended in a damaged, if not written off aircraft, if a human (me) had not intervened when the computers {FMAs] said it's going just great!!

I want a human at the front of an aircraft or a train. And I would like them suitably paid, motivated and well rested for their duty please.

Come on people don't talk your pay down, your CEOs won't take a hit in the wallet. Why should you?

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