Tube strike called for Boxing Day

Train drivers' union ASLEF has called a Tube strike for Boxing Day, the same day that the East London Line will experience a planned closure.

TfL says:

If the strike goes ahead, there is likely to be significant disruption to Tube services throughout Boxing Day, Sunday 26 December.

Bus, DLR, Tramlink and River services will operate, although some of these will have a reduced service.

Please also note that on Christmas Day, Saturday 25 December, there is no service on the entire network, and on Boxing Day, Sunday 26 December there will be no London Overground service.

For a comprehensive guide to services during the festive period please visit


Brockley Ben said...

As my potty-mouth grinch of a brother will be saying to me in 48 hours: merry fucking Christmas.

Still, loving the URL. "festive travel" sounds quite good fun. Unlike Boxing Day.

BrockleyBiker said...

It's absolutely ridiculous that the drivers are being told Boxing Day is a normal working day.

Good luck to them.

Anonymous said...

Well, they did want the job!

Crofton Park Ranger said...

I am told by my Australian friends that, down under, when the transport workers want to strike they come in to work and all the trains run normally BUT they dont charge anyone to travel.

This gets their point accross to the management without pissing off the punters.

Sounds to me like those flaming Galahs are onto something...

PS Merry Xmas BC! What a great Yule-Blog.

Ba Dum Ting.

Merry Xmas said...

Boxing Day is normal working day for lots and lots and lots of us. And Christmas Day public transport is regarded as so important to people in other countries, like Australia, that it is free! I am much more annoyed, though, about ELL being just closed down: so our service here on a non-strike day is as good as a strike-hit service. They treat us like crap late at night, when service is so bad it's unusable, and now on holidays, too. Joke.

Brockley Ben said...

@BrockleyBiker Agreed that Boxing Day is not a normal day. But is that really what's been said? There's some ambiguity, in this report at least. It sounds like there was an existing agreement in place for bank holiday arrangements. Not sure why this year is different. Something to do with the two extra days next week, presumably. Seems odd that the agreement didn't cover that?

Either way: triple time and a day in lieu (AKA quadruple time) is taking the piss.

Anonymous said...

As someone working the 26th December, I'd like to thank ASLEF making this working class hero's trip to work extremely time consuming or very expensive.

What needs to be set up is a passengers group to take to task both sides in this dispute, is the agreement available to read online?

Anonymous said...

It don't appear to be on WikiLeaks.

On the ASLEF site 71% of the readers have voted in disagreement with the union boss.

Are the drivers getting any additional payments working on the Monday & Tuesday?

Anonymous said...

Following an injunction today's ASLEF strike on London Midland was called off.

The BBC are reporting

London Underground (LU) is taking legal action to try to prevent a strike on Boxing Day by Tube drivers.

LU is seeking an injunction against the "completely unnecessary" strike. Aslef said LU's actions were "disappointing".

In 1996 the union signed an agreement that it would consider Boxing Day a normal working day in return for higher pay and longer holidays.

But Aslef said increased Tube services on bank holidays meant drivers now had to work more public holidays than was the case when the agreement was signed.

Coney said...

For all those who are working on Boxing Day which was traditionally a bank holiday; a day of rest and recuperation from the Christmas splurge rather than slating Aslef, for doing for people what businesses do for themselves which is to get the best deal possible, you should be asking yourself, why you aren't in union that fights for your rights as they do.

In the next year, workers are going to get squeezed from every direction, a bit solidarity wouldn't go amiss.

Anonymous said...

Because all unions succeed in doing these days is pissing people off - they're not like the unions of old that sprung out of dangerous conditions in mines. Hence why so many LU staff voluntarily run stations during every strike as they increasingly disagree with the "me me me" ransom demands of Bob Crow and co.

Merry Xmas said...

Quite a lot of us working Boxing Day need to work Boxing Day or you wouldn't have some rather important services, Coney. Geez.

Brockley Economist said...

Tube drivers are massively overpaid relative to jobs requiring comparable degrees of skill and qualification (circa 10k a year more than nurses for example).

They obtain these inflated wages by threatening to strike unless they are paid well over the market rate for their labour. In school that sort of behaviour is called bullying.

How can anyone think these people deserve our solidarity?

Anonymous said...

All they do is push knobs.

D said...

Brockley Economist - the big fuss that's made every time they threaten to strike would probably indicate that they are absolutely an essential service and as such they should probably be rewarded for it.

Therefore the best way to deal with it is for everyone to quietly go about their daily business without moaning and don't go anywhere near the tube. Get buses, bikes, taxis, whatever - just let them know that they're not as important as they think they are and their bargaining power goes away.


Anonymous said...

Re: shutting the ELL. chistmas day is the least inconvenient time overall. There is no time of year when closures affect no one.

Howson Road said...

I can't believe these tube workers...who do they think they are?! I feel sorry for the people who need to get to work on Boxing Day who are getting paid less than the tube drivers (which is a considerable percentage).

The Australian strike method sounds like a good one. Tube drivers here get a great wage for the work they do, they are really starting to piss me off...

Anonymous said...

The injunction failed so the strike is on.

To the earlier trade unionist...the agreement work on Boxing Day was made by the ASLEF union, in return their members got more pay and extra days off.

A grumpy spokesman for ASLEF claimed shopworkers will be paid 3 times their normal salary working on Boxing Day.

Anyone work in a shop and can confirm what he said is correct?

Merry Xmas said...

Don't work in shop, but don't get any extra cash for Boxing Day as it's a seven-day-a-week operation. Like lots of services.

Lou Baker said...

It is not unreasonable for workers to be paid a bit extra - maybe even double - for working on Boxing Day.

But triple time AND a day in lieu? ASLEF is taking the p***. It really is.

It's a simple fact that tube drivers do absolutely nothing that can't be done better and more reliably by computer.

This sort of spiteful industrial action against London will hasten the day when these talentless unionised dinosaurs can be removed and replaced by machine.

These drivers have a cushy number. They deserve to struggle in real jobs like many others do.

Anonymous said...

Indeed Lou. The sooner they move to the DLR model of operating the train, the better.

Anonymous said...

The DLR cannot operate without a staff member on board each train so not much logic in that last comment

Anonymous said...

Then it should be progressed to the point where it can work without. They've been given enough rope to hang themselves with all the demands.

Lou Baker said...

The DLR can absolutely operate without staff on the train.

It doesn't. But it can.

Paris is automating one of its busiest lines for precisely this reason - so its staff can't hold it to ransom.

Coney said...

"They deserve to struggle in real jobs..." Why do people want bring others down rather than raise themselves up?

When we read stories of workers committing suicide in factories that make computers for firms like Apple, we may sympathise and say terrible.
But when other workers, who by luck and are unionised and therefore have a bit of strenghth and decide to resist the deteriotian of pay and conditions we berate them.

I am not an Aslef nor even a union member, I wish I was because I get woefully underpaid and I can do nothing about it. I have nothing to bargain with other than find another job.

Anonymous said...

Absolute rubbish Lou. Without a PSA on board, the DLR trains wouldn't move anywhere. There has to someone on board to perform the checks at each station and give the goahead to proceed to the next one.

In order for it to operate completely automatically, platform doors would be required to comply with safety regs.

Not likely to happen on deep level tube lines with their narrow and often curved platforms. Converting the tube to fully auto just ain't going to happen due to the sheer cost and scale of the project.

Anonymous said...

"I have nothing to bargain with other than find another job."

Just like almost everyone else then. We cope.

Coney said...

It's an amazing feat, of 'divide and rule' that capitalism has pulled off, whereby we have worker arguing against worker to drive the price of labour down.
We have workers telling other workers to "cope", "struggle" pretty much 'don't make trouble'.

No, it's not good enough to just cope and accept things if they are not right. If being a human being and human dignity means anything, it means showing some resistance to circumstances that try to constrain you.

I am I the only person in Brockley who thinks like this? Is anyone with me?

if you are, make yourself heard.

Anonymous said...

Having looked through ASLEF's local London website, it is they who divide and rule.

Every communique is about working against management rather than with. The logic of their thinking is flawed because Union bosses are themselves managers and their staff should treat them with mistrust?

If ASLEF find the managements description of Boxing Day as 'bizarre' why did they agree to it in 1996?

It would appear ALL of ASLEF LU members benefitted from the agreement, increased pay and extra holidays.

If the ASLEF claim is accepted then it would be extremely 'bizarre' if union members continued to be paid for an agreement that no longer existed.

ASLEF detests any privatisation but when fully publicly owned the union was constantly in dispute with management.

The union's newsletter shows strong opposition to allowing drivers who become managers to remain members of the union.

Anonymous said...

From ASLEF website...

London Underground Ltd.

Current Pay £42,424.00

35 Hour Week Yes 35 Hour Week since May 1996

100% pensionable pay 100% since restructuring

Leave Arrangements 43 days

Travel Facilities All staff receive LRT pass. Rights for same sex partner

Retirement at 60 Full pension @ 60. Poss. Retirement @ 50London

Anonymous said...

While not being able to provide e-mails to it's members without a grant from taxpayers, the union executive was able to award a £600,000 pension to a former union boss.

Brockley Economist said...

@ D - nurses are also essential. They don't strike.

@ Coney - this marxist "us versus the bourgeousie" stuff is pretty out of date. The point is, when tube workers strike or ask for more pay, it is us, the general public who pay their wages who suffer. Collectively, they are in a position of power vis a vis the public and they rip us off. There is no bogey rich class being milked here.

Coney said...

I'm not talking about Marx, I'm talking people about having some self worth, so it's more Nietzsche if anything, but lets' not go that particular avenue.

When any body who works asks for more money, for a bigger share of the pie, someone will have a smaller piece. I don't see anything wrong if resources are better balanced out in society.

Whilst i can accept that Aslef may be extreme and not the best examples for exploitation of the workforce I refer too but their resistance and the power of their union provides hope for all those who aren't unionised who are expected to provide more and more to employers who are giving even less and less in exchange.

Anonymous said...

Quick note, ASLEF are actually less miltant than the RMT. The recent strikes were caused by the RMT and the TSSA who tend to represent more station staff and white collar activities.

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