Sunday, 12 June 2022
They are called engine drivers in Britain, just as they are called railway stations in Britain. And most engine drivers are not in the RMT, but in ASLEF, which continues to waste its money on affiliation to the Labour Party. But why should they not be paid £60,000? How much, exactly, should they be paid instead, and why, exactly?
The same question presents itself in relation to every participant in the forthcoming strikes. MPs complain that they cannot live on £84,144 plus gargantuan, self-certified expenses. Boris Johnson has made the same complaint about £164,080 plus expenses. What do RMT members, or any of the other workers who are soon going to be on strike, do at work? Get drunk? Watch pornography? What? Similarly, why should any particular worker be paid less than a Fleet Street comment writer, or a talking head on television?
Who are these agency workers who would be capable, at a moment's notice, of taking over the jobs of the railway workers, popularly assumed to include even driving the trains? What have they been doing hitherto? Rail fares have gone up by more than inflation, and the railways receive enormous public subsidies that are being passed on to bosses and to shareholders that routinely include foreign states, as such. Those states use that money to keep fares low in their own countries, where, by the way, rail strikes are perfectly legal, contrary to what you are now being told. The money is there, and it is very largely public money. The question is whether the British public, such as our railway workers, should be the ones to get it.