As Londoners prepare themselves for the mini-Armageddon that is the latest 24hr tube strike (details here), the ensuing grumbles will largely comprise of the same worn out lines: ‘oh those greedy tube staff’, ‘it’s the stubborn TFL bosses, you know’, and, everyone’s favourite, ‘the unions have too much power’.
But what of the people at the forefront of the action? During the last strike, one open letter penned by a tube employee went viral. Revealing the concerns of colleagues for conditions of the proposed night tube (specifically the ramifications to their work/life balance), it struck a chord with many a commuter, arguably tipping the debate in the unions' favour.
So perhaps with that in mind, London Underground bosses today printed a full page open letter in The Metro, beating staffers to the punch and detailing in full the revised deal offered to their workers ahead of the proposed 24hr tube plans, which were roundly rejected.
Outlining the perks - a two-per cent salary increase, extra bonuses and the option of not doing night shifts - London Underground’s managing director Nick Brown’s letter even added that drivers will have the same number of weekends off and that no one will be required to work any more hours than they already do. So it could be argued that any grievances over work/life balances are no longer applicable.
Brown then lays into the unions, claiming they rejected the ‘extremely fair’ offer and instead demanded more money, the hiring of more staff for ticket officers that no longer exist, and a 32hr four day week. Possibly not the best way of getting them back in the room for talks, but he does finish by urging leaders to call off the strike, even adding his office is available at any time.
Will his phone be ringing between now and tonight's strike? Will this letter curry favour with the public? Or will it do the opposite? If nothing else, it makes for an interesting read.
Let us know who you side with below.