Ultra-militant 1970s throwbacks, otherwise known as train drivers, have been making the lives of rail users miserable for more than 18 months now.
Yes, since June 2022, these avaricious lefty loonies have been holding us all to ransom and crippling the rail network on a regular basis.
Despite this, every time I watch a news item, featuring this on-going debacle, at least one or two befuddled members of the public still say, despite being annoyed at having their lives turned upside down by these idiots, they support the action they’re taking.
Now I know they’ve dredged up a number of quibbles and perceived affronts to their sensibilities over this extended period of manufactured mayhem but the main issue has always been pay, so how can anyone still be sympathetic to these money-grubbers?
Knowing they have already turned down at least £65,000 a year for a 35-hour, four-day week, any sympathy I may have felt at the beginning evaporated an awful long time ago.
And, just when you thought you’d heard it all, they go and find another reason to be disgruntled. This time I’m told they’re up in arms about ‘modern technology’ and are refusing to consider the idea of using computer tablets, rather than noticeboards, to be informed about speed limits and safety checks. Personally I wouldn’t be surprised to hear they want to return to chalking on slates!
Apparently if they are to deign to hold this new-fangled technological stuff they will require the delivery of another large lump of cash.
Well, I’ve got news for you lily-livered luddites. This isn’t modern technology - the rest of us have been happily, and highly effectively, making use of tablets for at least 15 years so you’re long since overdue getting with the programme.
In what other industry, or world for that matter, could you imagine workers refusing to use computerised technology unless they were paid more to do so?
There is a train driver who lives locally and we have spoken occasionally. I must say each time I see him, whether he’s working or striking, he seems remarkably upbeat. I can only assume this is for one of two reasons – either the level of his current salary means he can afford to strike for so many days, or the coffers of ASLEF are so large, they can bankroll seemingly endless industrial action.
Whatever the case, when I asked how much longer the action would continue, he confessed he had absolutely no idea - though he did smile and say I’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere that was more of a closed shop.
So, please don’t show these people any more sympathy.