Yesterday the front page of the Evening Standard declared "Now Tube drivers get £6,000 bonus for Olympics". They claim to have seen a “confidential union document” and quote a “senior ASLEF source” as saying that “If a driver worked all the opening ceremony, all the longer weekend shifts and late nights then they could earn an extra £6,200”.
For a starter they claim we’ll be getting a £1000 “thank you for working outside your agreements” payment or as some describe it a bribe to stop us going on strike. The last I heard the figure settled between ASLEF and LUL was £500 but remember that was plonked on the table by LUL at the start of negotiations without ASLEF even asking for it; if that’s changed I’ll be very, very surprised.
It does add in the Opening Ceremony bonus which wasn’t part of the original deal. This has been brought in as we will be running beyond the expected 02:30 close of traffic; apparently Danny Boyle wanted to put the start time back from 6pm to 8pm as it would not be dark enough to fully appreciate his artistry. The problem with that is it would only give us about 75 minutes between the end of the show and the last WB train and there was no way we were going to shift 80000 spectators in that time.
They go onto say that this agreement will extend over 9 weeks from the start of the Games in August until the end in September. I think it highly unlikely that LUL will run the enhanced timetable when they don’t need to so the extra payment will only be available during the two weeks and one day of the Olympics and the one week of the Paralympics and no one will be getting anything extra in the intervening weeks.
Finally they’ve calculated this whole thing by thinking that someone actually could work a shift that gets extra every day and that simply won’t happen. There will be relatively few shifts that will be affected and they will be divided between us as equally as possible. I think it unlikely that any of us will get more than one shift per week that earns the higher rate so no one, I repeat no one, will be getting an extra £6000 for working the Olympics.
All this seems to be is another stone to cast at TOps and the Unions in support of the “get tough” stance Boris has decided to adopt for his election campaign. Perhaps we engendered too much sympathy over the last few weeks with the BBC’s documentary series about the Tube so this is the ES’s way of getting the mindless masses to hate us again and back Boris.
The only thing they left out was to remind their readers that ASLEF support Ken in his bid to become Mayor again. ASLEF along with every other union (except RMT) support every Labour candidate at every election, be it national or local; why should Ken be any different?
The ES, home of shoddy journalism, can kiss my fat, overpaid arse.