Trade union Aslef have today announced that tube drivers have voted in favour of a strike on Boxing Day. The walk-outs will be followed by planned strikes on January 16th, February 3rd and February 13th.
Tube drivers are demanding triple pay and a day off in lieu for working the bank holiday. The union has confirmed that 92% of it’s members voted in favour of strike action.
As someone who lives and works in London I rely heavily on the underground to go about my daily life. Despite this I am usually all for workers getting a fair deal. However after looking into the facts I have very little sympathy for the tube drivers in this case.
A 1996 pay deal stated that workers will be required to work a certain number of Bank Holidays per year. Tube drivers currently earn £45,545 as a starting salary. This amount is due to rise above £50,000 by 2015. They also receive 43 days holiday per year. It has been recently announced that they will be receiving an “Olympics bonus” of £1,200 for working the three weeks of the event in 2012.
It is hard to see how they can justify these demands. I can’t help but think of nurses and other people in invaluable roles who will be working throughout the Christmas period with nowhere near this amount of incentives.
Holding London to ransom in this way does not create sympathy and London Underground should not give in to their demands. On a personal note I will be using public transport on Boxing Day to return home to Leyton from Perivale in West London. I dread to think what an endurance test it will be if this strike goes ahead.