Planned Strikes at London's Heathrow Airport

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fountainhall

Planned Strikes at London's Heathrow Airport

Post by fountainhall » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:49 am

4,000 essential workers at London's Heathrow have voted to strike and advised the dates of the walk outs.

July 26 and 27
August 5 and 6
August 23 and 24

The Union has said this will "cause chaos" at the height of the summer travel period. Heathrow management claims it has contingency plans to remain open and operate safely. Anyone with flights on or close to these dates should keep up to date with news of possible disruptions and delays.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-48968031

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Re: Planned Strikes at London's Heathrow Airport

Post by Jun » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:40 am

Workers in key transport jobs should simply be banned from striking, due to the disproportionate disruption they cause.

Obviously the ban should be subject to a few criteria, e.g. The wages increased in line with the increase in average earnings since they took the job.

Transport sector workers are often, but not always way over paid due to the influence of strikes.
Train drivers are over paid, presumably due to the disproportionate effect a strike has. The average UK pay for one was almost £48k in 2018 and if you ever travel on a train where it's possible to see into the cab, there is clearly naff all to it. Some trains have a lever for increasing & decreasing the speed & buttons for the doors. The only reason this lot get paid more than much more skilled bus drivers is due to the effect of strikes.
Obviously trains should be made driverless ASAP.

As for Heathrow, well if the workers don't like it, there are loads of jobs in west London & the surrounding area. Just get another one.

fountainhall

Re: Planned Strikes at London's Heathrow Airport

Post by fountainhall » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:29 am

Jun wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:40 am
Workers in key transport jobs should simply be banned from striking, due to the disproportionate disruption they cause.
I think this is a bit extreme, the more so when the boss at Heathrow banked a 103.2% pay increase last year. If those at the bottom of the ladder have pay always pegged to something like inflation, on what basis can those at the top enjoy obscene increases of over 100%?

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Re: Planned Strikes at London's Heathrow Airport

Post by Jun » Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:28 pm

fountainhall wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:29 am
.. on what basis can those at the top enjoy obscene increases of over 100%?
I don't agree with excessive pay for the top cats, however if the workers really want his kind of salary, they probably need to start a business, or work hard at self improvement and climb the corporate ladder.

When the workers obtain disproportionately high salaries for the level of work due to striking and causing misery to other travellers, I think that's not on. Train drivers have a lower skilled job than bus drivers, but get paid like a good professional just because of the impact when they go on strike.

Heathrow workers can just go and find another job if they think the money they are earning is insufficient. That's what I did after taking my first proper job.

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Re: Planned Strikes at London's Heathrow Airport

Post by Captain Kirk » Sat Jul 13, 2019 6:53 pm

Jun wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:40 am
Train drivers are over paid, presumably due to the disproportionate effect a strike has. The average UK pay for one was almost £48k in 2018
To say "average" indicates some don't get paid as much as £48K. How many hours a week is the £48K based on? You can earn £50K as a taxi driver which is a low skill job, there again you might have to work 90 hours a week to do it. The £48K for train drivers sounds a generic media based figure. Is that 40 hours or maybe it's 60. Monday to Friday or weekend working? Daytime or unsocial hours? Myself and a colleague at work do precisely the same job and between us we earn £110K a year. So that's an average of £55K, only he earns £70K of that because he works 7 days a week, pretty much 52 weeks of the year. Only has a day off when the depot is closed for a holiday.

Don't get me wrong, I've always said train drivers get enough (IMO) but it's just too easy to pick up on reported figures unless you know what lies beneath.

fountainhall

Re: Planned Strikes at London's Heathrow Airport

Post by fountainhall » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:21 pm

I am not against those at the top of the ladder getting huge remuneration provided they are growing their companies, increasing their profits and - equally - increasing the remuneration of all workers. After all, it may be the CEO who comes up with the strategy and ideas, but it is those who work for a company who put these into practice and help create the wealth. My own view is that whilst a low-level worker can always be replaced with another prepared to work for the same wage - perhaps someone younger with less on-the-job experience - there is a moral responsibility that those who contribute to a company's wealth deserve some form of additional reward as profits increase. Adam Smith's mobility of labour theory may have seemed useful during the industrial revolution. I do not believe it holds much water in the 21st century. In the UK, it takes a CEO in the travel and leisure industry just 2 days to earn what an average worker in the same industry makes in a year (and that's before perks). I believe that is unacceptable.

I also cannot agree about train drivers. Whatever the state of computerisation of the railroads, the driver is there to ensure things run smoothly and to take control in the event of trouble. It is almost the same as being in the cockpit of an aircraft. A pilot is paid for his expertise in looking after the lives of several hundred passengers and a hugely expensive piece of equipment. Mind you, in recent years I have only been on Japanese shinkansen and Taiwan and German high-speed trains. I would not be keen on taking them if the drivers were not experienced and had undertaken extensive training.

I suspect Jun and I started our careers in a roughly similar way but perhaps for different reasons. I gave up my first job for one 350 miles away which paid fractionally more. But the cash element was a negligible factor in the decision. It was far more the type and quality of the work that was far more important. After a spell in that job, I then moved to a totally new continent of which I knew almost nothing primarily for the opportunity to keep moving up the ladder. Taking all factors into consideration the amount of take-home cash at the end of the day was not much different until after I had been in the job for 2 years. But I was single and perfectly happy to relocate. My view is that most average workers may be stuck with kids in school, mortgages or longish term rental agreements, to say nothing to lacking the skills to find a new job in the same area.

https://smallbusinessprices.co.uk/ceos-vs-workers/

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Re: Planned Strikes at London's Heathrow Airport

Post by Jun » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:17 pm

I also have no problems at all with outstanding Chairmen/CEOs taking large pay packets, as long as they ARE outstanding. For example, I think Sir Martin Sorrel was getting about £71 million per year at WPP. Since he built it up from a small Wire & Plastic Product business (WPP) into a huge global advertising agency & making an absolute fortune for shareholders, no problems. For this kind of exceptional case.

On the other hand, there are some small listed companies where the directors take inflated salaries (e.g. £400,000 & stock options) for a persistently loss making business. Considering their lack of results, they are over paid.

We might have to disagree on trains. Fundamentally, all the driver has to do is control the speed and open the doors, at the correct time and on the correct side of the platform. The technology to automate this existed 50 years ago. We would IMPROVE reliability and safety by getting rid of the drivers who are prone to striking or showing up late. They occasionally drive too fast, as we have seen in Spain, Croydon and Osaka (?) in recent decades. We also have to invest in systems to prevent them jumping signals etc.
Also, they are way overpaid for driving a stop-go machine.

Due to more complexity, I'm not quite ready for pilotless aircraft. Clearly neither are Boeing ! However, a lot of the improvements in safety are due to software that prevents pilot error. Eventually, the pilot should be redundant. When that happens, we don't have to worry about them striking or suicide (9-11 & the German guy).

UK train drivers would not even be allowed to work 60 hours. Even if they worked the legal maximum of 48 hours, the £48000 average wage is way better than any bus driver gets & driving a bus requires more skill & constant driver input.

I started off in a good job, but quickly realised the salary didn't progress. I eventually moved to another location for about 50% more, rising to near 90% more a couple of years later. I always disagreed with striking and had more of a tendency to move job.

In hindsight, doing as you did and moving to Asia would have been a great idea. However, I did eventually get introduced to the pleasures of Asia via my employer. Figuring this out earlier would have been good, but I got there in the end.

fountainhall

Re: Planned Strikes at London's Heathrow Airport

Post by fountainhall » Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:46 am

British Airways has lost a Court appeal to prevent its pilots from going on strike. Its union must now give BA 14 days notice of strike action and that is likely to happen today or tomorrow. The disruption this will cause around the world is huge, coming as it does during the peak summer holiday season. Cancelled flights, aircraft and crews out of position, problems for passengers rebooking on other airlines and so on. Hopefully no readers will be travelling on BA flights until this dispute is solved.

fountainhall

Re: Planned Strikes at London's Heathrow Airport

Post by fountainhall » Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:04 pm

The silly season has started. British Airways has cancelled 177 flights out of London Heathrow tomorrow as a precaution against strike action but has not yet informed the 30,000 affected passengers which flights will not happen. Talk about utter stupidity! BA has said it will rebook passengers on other flights. That's another joke. During the peak season, the chances of all affected passengers getting out tomorrow or even on Tuesday and Wednesday are more than slim!

Flights of a total of 91 airlines out of London could be affected since it is airport staff who will stroke if last-ditch talks today are unsuccessful.

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