Yesterday my dear friend Treacle asked me why I wasn’t
blogging and to be truthful my heart just wasn’t in it, whatever inspired me to
start writing back in 2010 seems to have faded this year but then the last
eight months have been rather stressful one way or another.
Another factor could be that since I’ve given
up night shifts it seems that there is less to write about, I certain get far
fewer amusing and entertaining drunks to wake up when I reach EPP than I used
to but then there’s also far less vomit to deal with.
A couple of weeks ago I got my ballot paper for the vote
on the Boxing Day deal, I happily voted to accept LUL’s offer
and we should be getting the results soon. Hopefully this will mean an end to
the dispute and also that I never work another
Boxing Day between now and retirement. Someone else can earn the extra £350, I can
always get more money, I can’t get more time before my date with the
It looks like RMT will go on strike over the planned ticket
office closures although it remains to be seen if TSSA go out with them this
time, the joint strike at the end of 2010 had absolutely no effect and I would imagine morale among station staff must be rock bottom. This was the plan all along, from the moment
LUL signed the deal on Oyster Cards in 1998 they were looking to take the human
element out of ticket sales, that was obvious to me despite assurances from
management that there would always be a need for staff in ticket offices. That was one of the reasons why I asked
for a transfer to trains, I knew that management were lying through their teeth
and that staff cuts were on the way.
What is rather ironic is that when Boris was
elected in 2008 he said that he’d stop the closures that Ken had planned and ensure
that every station had a ticket office open but everyone seems to have
forgotten that, maybe it’s because he’s broken so many of his promises that no
one expects anything else from him.
be noted then although Ken was planning to close ticket offices he was
intending to put more staff on stations rather than less.
Up on the Overground they’ve announced plans to move to “Driver
Only Operation” and dispense with conductors which everybody refers to as
guards just as everybody still refers to DLR PSAs as “train captains”.
RMT have voted for a strike but their claim that
this will lead to safety issues is undermined by the fact that two of the lines
on LO have been working DOO ever since the new trains were introduced.
As the trains currently operating with conductors
came with CCTV in the cab it looks as if this was the idea from the start, just
as Oyster was intended make ticket offices redundant.
I don’t believe that RMT think they’ve a hope in hell of saving
the conductors’ jobs, they’re just trying to get as good a deal as possible out
of LO for their members who will either be taking voluntary redundancy or being
displaced to other areas of the business.
Having been told that there is going to be a lot of work done on LO stations
with the introduction of ticket barriers and lifts I suspect that there will have
to be the introduction of the equivalent of a station supervisor grade which
the conductors that do stay will be ideally suited to step into.
Happy travelling, people.