Before I start talking about Rail Unions, I would like to make it clear that I am not against unions as such.
The concept of a union is great. Throughout our working lives, we all need support at some time or other. Having someone there to support help and represent you is without doubt a good thing.
Having said that, there are also bad sides to our unions.
I really do not understand why the unions deem it necessary to link to a political party nor why they think that strike action is a suitable action.
So why do I rant about this now?
The answer is simple. I have been affected by a strike. Yes, in the middle of a pandemic the RMT union has called a strike. Of all the things a staycation might be impacted by in the current climate, this is not one I expected.
I have had to make alternative arrangements at an additional cost to myself. If this was due to the pandemic I would have accepted. To say I am livid about this would be an understatement.
It may be an unpopular view in some quarters, but I believe strike action is disruptive, counterproductive and childish!
A strike disrupts the lives of the people who pay the wages of the staff and funds the union – the customers. Why would anyone think that this might be a good idea? Personally, I go out of my way to look after my customers. After all, they provide my livelihood.
Whatever the grievance maybe, I don’t believe losing money, continuity of pension payments and all the associated hardships that it would bring to the staff and families can be justified. Not only this, but it alienates people who may otherwise support them.
Do you remember when you were a kid? Perhaps playing a board game with the parents. When you were not winning or getting your own way you would have a tantrum. Throw the board in the air and say, “I’m not playing anymore”.
There are distinct similarities between a child losing a game and strike action. i.e. lets have a strop and not play anymore!
As professional adults, in a safety critical role, surely a childish attitude is not normal. For me, this is an internal discussion between employer and employee. Anyone who has been in work for a number of years will no doubt have had disagreements with their seniors. The question of it is appropriate to air your grievances in front of both your customers and the public does not seem a professional way of proceeding. Most assuredly it is not something I would contemplate.
The best way to resolve the issue is to talk it through sensibly and find the middle ground. Threatening to eject you toys from the pram and storming out does no one any good.
I am sure the union leaders would say they have tried to talk. Compromise has been attempted. However, I believe that ultimately they are failed politicians and want to try and play in that arena. The staff just become a pawn in their attempt to make a political point.
My plea to the unions and their members. Don’t take strike action. No one gains. If you win some benefit, you do so at what cost? Please resolve your difference in an adult and discrete way. I don’t want to know you troubles, I have enough of my own and you are only adding to them.
You have a great opportunity and responsibility as a union to help and support your members. But do it in a positive and constructive way. You are not politicians.
Rail Unions – Grow up.
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