One of my photos


June 13th, 2006 · Posted by Skuds in Life · No Comments · Life

I see that the railway signalmen have voted for strike action on June 20th (when England play Sweden) and June 25th (when England will play if they win their group). How convenient.

The timing of the first strike action is devious: they will walk out at 1300. Whenever there is a rail strike you know that some trains will run, but you can never be sure which ones. If it starts in the morning and your line is affected you can’t get to work, but who wants to go to work when they cannot sure of being able to get home in time for the match? Or even at all? It gives those of us who have a job which can be done at home a brilliant excuse anyway.

One thing puzzles me though. A majority of railway workers get to work by train, often for very long journeys since they get free travel. If the signalmen all walk out at 1300, how will they get home? Having seen the enormous railway rule book I would not be at all surprised to find that there is a bit of small print compelling the company to pay for taxis to get them home if there is no train service, but if there did happen to be a service running their way would they be allowed to take it or would that count as crossing a picket line?

Obviously I have a bit of a clash of interests, being a member of a railway union myself (even though I do not work for a railway company) but also being a long-suffering commuter, however I think my sympathies in this dispute lie with the passengers. If the dates chosen for the action did not coincide so neatly with England games which the signalmen all want to watch I might be a bit more charitable.

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