Sunday, September 06, 2009

Off the Rails

A rail franchise faces mass cancellations of trains because drivers are excercising their right not to work on Sunday. I'm glad to see that the legislation to protect that particular day of the week is still being respected, though some of the rail pressure groups want to chip away at it. They're calling drivers 'irresponsible' for wanting to take Sunday with their families, or with their God, or just resting.

Interesting isn't it: as consumers we want to exercise our 'choice' to travel/shop etc. any day we want, even though that cashes out as other people not having a choice on whether to work on those days, or at anti-social hours. There's no such thing as a free choice if it involves someone else having to service it.

From the BBC:
Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT) said the move was not organised action by workers but a case of the contractual right not to work being exercised.

He said: "Their contracts of employment say they haven't got to work on a Sunday. It's their choice. London Midland need to pay their staff a fair wage to work anti-social hours - and get the trains moving again

"If someone wanted to work a Sunday because they're short of money and said to the employer 'I'm coming in this Sunday because I want some extra overtime', then the employer hasn't got to give it to him. Quite rightly so. "

I don't often find myself agreeing with Mr Crow, but in this case I'll make an exception.

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