It was going to happen eventually but who knew it would be so soon: the RMT have delivered their 2012 ransom note already by asking Transport for London to agree to an ‘attendance bonus’ for its drivers during the Games.
Their reasoning: the organisers of the Sydney Olympics made a similar agreement (what the BBC are calling ‘a no-strike deal’) with their unions, whereby the workers got an extra $4 an hour, and everything worked like a charm (of course their transport system wasn’t horribly underfunded to begin with).
“People will tell you the Sydney Olympics was one of the smoothest running, public transport wise.” So said Bob Crow to the BBC tonight. “What they had done was put an attendance bonus in place where it gave a benefit to people to come to work, to make sure the Games run smoothly and give the company flexibility on the running of the services.”
A benefit to come to work? Something that’s known in most working households as ‘an honest wage’.
For various reasons we’ve tried to be objective about the RMT’s various ‘skirmishes’ in the past, but let’s be clear here: this is a blog, not a newspaper and we’re allowed to be as subjective as we like. And this is just bollocks.
Anyone who saw the footage of Bob Crow on the evening news tonight might have regretted the day they bought that nice large plasma screen telly because the bloke was just oozing smugness. By the time he got to “I imagine if our members don’t get the same as other groups of workers have, we could have difficulties.” he might as well have been holding a revolver to the head of a small child dressed in a ‘London 2012′ tee shirt.
If nothing else this kind of shit just makes it more difficult for other, slightly less volatile, unions to get taken seriously by the public when they’ve got genuine, honest grievances.
LU have said they’re not ready to start making deals and have put out a statement regarding the ‘work incentive’ which says “London Underground is working to deliver the best possible transport network for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. We are constantly working with all employees and trade unions to deliver a safe, reliable and clean Tube service, every day.”