Once again, thousands of London Underground workers have decided to go on strike. This time, they are unhappy that London Underground plans to make 800 ticket office staff redundant.
I do feel really sorry for anyone who is made redundant, as it is something which I have experienced myself. However, the default mode for tube workers seems to be to go on strike.
I know this is not the case, and I am sure the unions have had lots of negotiations with London Underground. However, as a commuter living in London, it feels as if the tube workers and their unions don’t think twice about going on strike.
I can remember when the London Underground wanted to sack two tube workers several years ago. All their colleagues decided to go on strike to support them. I thought that was very unreasonable. Why did millions of Londoners have to suffer because two people had been disciplined by their employer?
I think I might actually support London Underground in this particular dispute. They said they have to make these ticket office workers redundant because lots of commuters are using Oyster cards and have stopped using ticket offices. I think it makes sense to reduce your workforce if they are not doing much work. I’m sure I heard London Underground say that every single tube station will still have a ticket office.
London Underground is hoping to save £16 million a year by making these employees redundant. If the tube workers keep going on strike like this (they have scheduled three more 24-hr strikes this year), then London Underground should go ahead with their plans.
So many people have lost their jobs since the financial crisis began in 2008. Most of them were working in the private sector, and they did not have the luxury of going on strike. The union involved in this dispute, the RMT, should focus on fighting for better redundancy packages for the poor employees that will be losing their jobs. Making the lives of Londoners more miserable is definitely not helping their cause.