Good on why there’s a strike and what the govt. is trying to achieve
This is really good on the why? of the current rail dispute. Pay is an important part of it, but it’s more about the government and rail companies changing working practices and using COVID as an opportunity to do that:
As soon as COVID came around, the passenger numbers dropped because they asked people to stay at home. And they came to us, the government and the companies, saying the industry’s got to change. They wanted to use this as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to cut costs and get the working practice changes that they’ve been after for years. So that’s exactly what they’ve been pursuing.
It’s interesting to read how the government has also guaranteed a return for the rail companies. My local operator – Greater Anglia – is owned by Abellio, which is in turn owned by the Dutch government.
So in effect the UK government is trying to reduce UK workers’ pay and make their employment conditions worse in order to maintain profits for the Dutch government.
We seem to be a long way from the promise of greater competition providing cheaper, better services.
Of course, we can only despair at the Labour party’s dismal response: no nationalisation and no strikes.