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Rail Strike - back on

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On 28 May 2015 at 8:53pm Country Boy wrote:
It looks as though the RMT are determined to test the Government's mettle. Their members have received pay increases in every year that the other public sector workers have had to settle for zero or RPI equivalent increases at best. They rejected a three year deal linked to RPI and have now rejected a deal thrashed out at ACAS of 1% this year and 1.4% next. Surely the Government aren't going to give in on this one?
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On 28 May 2015 at 9:11pm Sussex Jim wrote:
The Government must not give in to this bullying union who are trying it on.
We have no inflation at the moment. If we all accept a zero pay rise; and refuse to pay any increases in the shops- we stand a fighting chance of turning this country round on the road to recovery.
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On 28 May 2015 at 9:50pm Commuters Unite wrote:
And share a car LOL
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On 28 May 2015 at 10:39pm frak wrote:
Completely agree Paul. It will affect me, but I'd rather people had the right to strike and to stand up against bigger corporations and big business interests.
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On 28 May 2015 at 10:51pm RedHeartedCyclist wrote:
@SussexJim- dont worry money doesn't exist- only the effort,time and belief you spent in acquiring it did
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On 29 May 2015 at 3:40am King of Sussex wrote:
Zero inflation is n’t necessarily a good thing by any stretch. It’s a threshold that has to be crossed as price fall to find a market that can afford to buy. Think about it, how is that good for the economy? It means your economy is collapsing. Inevitably 2nd class history graduate Osbourne will trumpet that as another miracle, but it won’t be long before wages are going to ‘have to’ drop so board memers and shareholders can continue to reap their entitlement, and wages will continue to fall until they match the 3rd world levels that globalisation has made available.
We've never had it so good as we did in the golden age before Thatcher, eh? Remember how poor people used to be able to afford going on holiday to Spain?
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On 29 May 2015 at 6:59am Paul Newman wrote:
With oil prices at their current level zero inflation is nothing to worry about in the long term and as employment is still going exceedingly well and wages rising , zero inflation means a real increase in wealth.
Interest rates , lets not forget are still rock bottom and likely to stay that way.
The golden age before Thatcher was a period of 25% inflation non stop strikes , the three day week , power cuts British Rail and going to IMF just to get the bills paid.
Thank god it looks unlikely we will ever have another Labour government .
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On 29 May 2015 at 7:15am Pull theotherone wrote:
@pn : so says the insurance salesman. Proper job.
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On 29 May 2015 at 8:53am Country Boy wrote:
Back to my original point - Network Rail are once again public sector in all but name. I am surprised that other workers don't feel aggrieved at the greed being shown by the RMT. Some of those intending to strike are earning in excess of £80k per annum, many are earning in excess of £50k, all the rest are on a very comfortable salary. Further they still have 'Spanish Practices' which allow someone to get paid 7.5hrs when they have only worked 1hr. (Fact, not fiction).
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On 29 May 2015 at 11:43am bastian wrote:
where do tou get your FACTS from country boy?
And, when it comes to inflation and wages, I haven't noticed most comapnies restraining inflation price rises to 1% or less, or supermarket prices on bread, pasta or any of the other essential food stuffs. when wages go up by less than 1% in line with inflation, but prices of gas, petrol, food and water rates go up by between 3-8%, ordinariy people cannot balance the books any more, no matter how hard or regularly they work.
Most public sector workers have not had a real pay rise in over ten years, their wages have been dragged down and their work loads increased, jobs have been amalgamated into one job with all the responsibilities of two with no extra money at all, and then people like country boy start blagging rubbish about them being paid 80K a year. Very few, if any workier are on that kind of money, so instead of bringing them to the fore, why not start at the bottom, those on 13K, who have very few rights, and will soon not be able to ask for more.
By the way, the last few strikes in this country went ahead because the government refused to come to the table and talk at all. In Europe they have a mediator that both parties have to meet with. This is not the case here-it means that the bosses can just utterly ignore their staff and with the help of the government, they can suppress their ability to srtike unitl listened to. The right to protest is important-take that away and you could be in real trouble for having a different opinion to the rest of the herd, that's not healthy.
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On 29 May 2015 at 12:53pm Country Boy wrote:
Bastion, I work in the industry - I know!
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On 29 May 2015 at 1:15pm bastian wrote:
Then you should know better than to take a side swipe at your own.
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On 29 May 2015 at 2:22pm Ned Kelly wrote:
You don't like the truth do you bastian?
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On 29 May 2015 at 2:33pm Paul wrote:
The golden age before Thatcher i.e. 60s and 70s was one of less inequality - that's what strong trade unions get you. Thatcher knew that that's why she attacked them beyond anything else seen in Europe and why we are so unequal now - just hope Paul Newman and others are fat cats - at least they would have a clear vested interest in keeping the system biased to the very rich.
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On 29 May 2015 at 3:48pm Paul Newman wrote:
Institute for Fiscal Studies
During the recession
Public Sector
In 2009, the average public-sector worker earned £16.64 an hour, which has dropped to £15.69 per hour – by mid 2013 .
Private Sector
In2009,£15.15, mid 2013 - £13.66.
The IFS said many employees accepted a pay freeze or a cut because they were so desperate to keep their jobs.
The report states: ‘They attach more weight to staying in work (because their expected time to find another job is longer than in the past) than on securing higher wages, and are thus willing to accept lower wages in exchange for holding on to their job.’
This does not take into account the stupendous contrast between Public sector pensions and private sector nothing, the shorter hours and much better job security.
Since wages have started to recovered the Private sector have made up some of the gap but let us be quite clear ,the pain of the recession was born disproportionately by the wealth creating side of the mixed economy while the Unionised Public sector got an easy ride .
Only 17 % of the private sector is unionised.
The reforms Thatch made to the Unions were not rescinded by New Labour and even the idiot Union puppet had no such plans.

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On 29 May 2015 at 4:28pm Southover Queen wrote:
Public service pensions are funded by the employees - a copper pays something like 30% of his or her income into the pension pot. That's a big reason for their resenting others changing their terms: it's their money. Those not working in the public service can pay 30% of their income into a pension pot if they wish, and then they'd have a comfortable retirement pot too.

Anyway, that wasn't my point. My point was more to do with the fact that this country's productivity is now 30% below that of other comparable economies. Notably those with high productivity are also those with enlightened attitudes to towards their workers, such as Germany.

It's also notable that much of commentary on this subject has concentrated on poor quality lazy management rather than the powerless workers, even in the Tory press. Treat your workforce as the enemy and manage them badly and what do you get? Poor productivity. Some people might wonder whether the demonisation of the unions has perhaps reaped its inevitable reward.
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On 29 May 2015 at 5:46pm Navvy wrote:
I know you're right Country Boy
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On 29 May 2015 at 5:58pm belladonna wrote:
What I don't understand is the almost gleeful tone taken by people like Paul Newman when talking about wages going down. Surely we should be trying to improve and increase wages for everyone, rather than have a 'race to the bottom'. Why the envy of the public sector ? What's wrong with people working hard and earning decent money ??
Increased salaries mean greater security and people more willing to put that money back into the economy. They will spend more.
Decreased salaries may be great for corportae profits but they are not great for the economy.
I see the right are now trying to spin deflation and stagnation as good for the economy. These are the people who support continuous capitalist growth ! It's Orwellian.
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On 29 May 2015 at 6:44pm Over the wall we go wrote:
SQ- If public service workers pay 30% of their pensons then who funds the other 70%.
I have to pay 100% of mine and I am employed in the private sector.

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On 29 May 2015 at 7:03pm Southover Queen wrote:
Eh??? 30% of their *gross salary*, leaving the rest (the 70%) as their spending money during their working life. (Was it really that obscure?) That is saved and invested and then drawn as income in retirement. There is a contribution from the employer, but it's certainly nothing like the free money many of you seem to think it is.

I have a private pension scheme into which I pay a chunk of my earnings every month. You probably do too. It's not a huge mystery really.
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On 29 May 2015 at 7:28pm Southover Queen- A final wrote:

Southover Queen- A commercially acquired index linked guaranteed final salary pension would cost 100% of your salary ( and the rest) . Notional Public sector pension funds are topped up by the exchequer every year ie by the good old tax payers who are not getting any pension at all themselves! Funnily enough the "employer" ie the rest of us do top it up about 70%
Its like having a blood sucker attached to you at birth basically and then you want thanks …
Productivity – It really is tragic the way busy ethnicity consultants and social client handlers are suddenly mortified by the “lack of productivity “ . How they must have cheered when under Thatcher despite a terrible shakeout of employment manufacturing output increased just as Un-ions were reined in. Oh dear that doesn`t fit the narrative does it ……
The UK is just a little above the OECD average for productivity and not dissimilar to the Euro area as a whole ( examples: On OECD figures for 2012 output per hour worked adjusted for unemployment UK $46, Spain $38.5, France $53 ).US productivity is considerably higher than Europe’s
The recent dip is due to ,falling North Sea output , the loss of top end banking services post-crash – the continued affordability of labour intensive lower priced service sector activities due to immigration and the creation of 2,000,000 new jobs .
Germany does indeed have high productivity ($58 unadjusted well above us at $48 or Japan at $40.1. ) No doubt there is much about Germany to envy but our history quite clearly shows that more unions do not productivity make , we tried it
Belladonna wages are going up and growth is strong…sigh…… ..
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On 29 May 2015 at 7:31pm Paul Newman wrote:
Oi that was me !
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On 29 May 2015 at 7:42pm Southover Queen wrote:
I'd guessed.

Our history shows that there's something badly wrong with our way of producing stuff. It's got nothing to do with the unions because their power is negligible. Some someone else is to blame I think (and it ain't North Sea oil)

I'm pleased you know what's going wrong. Why don't you drop a line to all those economists who say that it's a bit of a mystery, such as the people from the LSE. (Unless they're just a bunch of Commies who would say that wouldn't they, in which case there's not much point in apprising them of your insights)
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On 29 May 2015 at 8:00pm bastian wrote:
Why is it always a pension bashing forum these days. In case you haven't seen the new pension rules EVERYONE will soon be on better pensions than the public sector, because in order to afford to pay their LGPS and NI (and have neough to support their familiestoday) they have been paying a half sub in NI in order that throer LGPS will top them up to the full higher amount of state pension rather than going through NI only. Now, as of 2016, everyone has to pay Full contributions for 35 years (not 30) and then everyone will be getting the full, higher rate of £240 pw-just like the public sector would have got if they had been paying NI and LGPS. But, the public sector has not been paying this full NI, so are infact left in the cold, not getting what they thought they were contributing to, but infact ending up on much, much less- so shut up about the fantastic, gold plated nothing that they will get. Further to this, most women have now lost out really hard on this deal, becasue they can no longer claim anything from their partner after they die, You're on your own baby! and all those extras like bus fares and cold payments are in that £240.
Now back to unions-all the rights you have at work today, are not a given, they were won by ordinary working men and women, who faught not to be treated like parcels of meat by employers, they were won through the unions, and where the unions were dismissed by the employers, they withdrew thier labour to show the employers who made the company rich- because with out labour, companies are nothing but ideas men.
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On 29 May 2015 at 8:14pm Signalaman wrote:
Countryboy - if you work for Network Rail and are an RMT member then you should be ashamed of your 'Daily Mail' lies. I suspect however that you are are a contractor who receives hearsay as a literal truth. I have been a signalman for over 25 years and fail to recognize anything you have stated as 'fact'. There are no "Spanish Practices" left from the days of BR that I am aware of and I personally think the pay we receive is not excessive - we work anti-social hours on shifts that disrupt family and health and these days are under enormous pressure from an overcrowded and often dangerous railway. We are lucky enough to have a strong union which I gather, many people seem to be jealous of, do you think it fair that it is only the senior management and directors are rewarded for all the hard work that everyone puts in?
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On 29 May 2015 at 8:22pm Paul Newman wrote:
Oh I wouldn't say the Unions power is negligible, they are busy making sure Andy Burnham is the next leader of the Labour Party.
The LSE is very left wing of course but all economists tend to favour intervention otherwise whats the point of economists.
The UK is not especially unproductive as I have just showed you and it quite obviously correct that the recent dip will be caused at least in part by the loss of high productivity areas like Oil and top end finance .
I quite like harmless "radicals" like you. The more you and your kind prattle on the further the Labour Party drift from ever having power again.

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On 29 May 2015 at 8:57pm Signalman wrote:
Paul (vomit) Newman for the purposes of this thread could I point out that with regards to the union in question - the RMT -the Labour Party disaffiliated the union in early 2004.
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On 30 May 2015 at 12:05am Zzz.. wrote:
Paul. In every thread you are exposed for spouting rubbish. Why don't you just give up and go away?
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On 30 May 2015 at 2:26am Local wrote:
My sergeant mate pays nowhere near 30% of his salary into his pension. Complete ill-informed bollox.
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On 30 May 2015 at 10:51am Mark wrote:
You're spot on Zzz.. He talks total rubbish. I like the bit about economists being interventionists so that there can be a point in being an economist (tee hee!). Also the suggestion that unions have been able to protect public sector earnings is made up drivel. Public sector workers have abandoned their unions in droves over the last few years precisely because, when threats arise, the unions are incapable of doing anything about it. Why carry on paying the contribution?
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On 30 May 2015 at 10:51am Southover Queen wrote:
Oh well, all the available literature on this is clearly wrong then, including the Parliamentary briefing notes which I link to. Obviously local's third-hand "evidence" is much more compelling.

Pensions are expensive, but that's largely because the funds themselves are not producing anything like the projected income, and interest rates are at an historical low. And what's more the final salary and other "gold-plated" schemes are being discontinued across the public sector, with new entrants being offered a much worse deal. For those approaching retirement now, they can quite legitimately say that they are being denied something they were promised, with increased age at retirement and reduced benefits in many cases. And it is THEIR money.

Public service pensions are certainly a good deal compared to what a private sector worker typically gets. But we are always being told told that workers want to keep their money to do with as they please, and clearly not enough of those workers think setting up a decent pension plan is a good way to spend it. But don't blame the local retired copper or fireman for working hard and saving for a reasonable retirement.


Check it out here »
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On 30 May 2015 at 7:41pm Metatron wrote:
Maybee Southover Quen that there isn't enough disposable income left at the end of the month to spend on pension provisions. Just a thought.
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On 30 May 2015 at 9:57pm Zzz.. wrote:
And maybe it's a question of priorities too
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On 31 May 2015 at 8:23am Paul Newman wrote:
Its to do with a market for employees. A pensions is an extremely expensive thing for a Company to contribute to but because the benefit is in the future it has a relatively low affect on the what you can "purchase". For this reason when Gordon Brown removed the tax advantages they quickly disappeared.
The reason state employees retain golden pension deals is that the state does not pay for them now they are actually a vast rolling debt .
So the Police notionally pay 30% of the cost of their pension but in fact this money is not"paid " at all. They could not agree to forgoe it and get a 30% pay rise .
The Unions like to misrepresent this position so as to pretend the public sector buy their own pensions whereas in fact the rest of the country buy them.
Actually the Police are probably not a good example because their pension is a much more important part of the Price because they have to retire early.
I think the truth is the unionised public sector have reached a point where they just don`t inhabit the same mental world as everyone else and there is little point in trying to talk about it .The Labour Party have disappeared from the South of England and as john Cruddass pointed out, as representatives only of the Public Sector (plus immigrants/ on benefits ) they cannot ever win again.
I am perfectly happy for this alternative world to continue undisturbed whilst the facts change around it. They are going to
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On 31 May 2015 at 9:08am Mark wrote:
If I mention that only 35% of public sector employees are members of unions will you continue to write about "the unionised public sector? If I mention that there are more strikes in private sector industries than in the public sector will you still hold the same line? Ad nauseum... Could it be that despite anything anyone ever says you'll cling to the same blinkered, Daily Mail inspired, neoliberal ideology.
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On 31 May 2015 at 9:27am bastian wrote:
well said Mark.
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On 2 Jun 2015 at 6:04am Country Boy wrote:
Signaller, you are forgetting that there are others on the railway as well as you signallers. I dont know what grade you are but I would guess you earn at least £40k per annum if not a whole lot more.
Do your maintenance colleagues still have those giant polystyrene bungs that they wedge in the gutters at London Victoria to make the roof leak when it rains? Thats an easy 8hrs money for 10 minutes work!


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