Tube strike is outdated, just like the jobs its trying to save

Businesses are none too happy either! Take my business and its fleet of 150 vehicles trying to navigate London’s snarled up road network. We’ve got dozens of vans stuck in dozens of locations not able to serve our customers.

And for what? A group of ticket office workers who for decades have been singularly unhelpful, and that’s when you can actually find one to serve you, who will inevitably send you to the next counter where another worker is reading the paper.

Of course it’s never good to see jobs lost, but this is a definite case where a business evolving and utilising technology for the good of its customers.

They won’t however be missed by Londoners, and I’m only sad that it has taken so long to get to the point where we are able to bring in the machines to sort out the mess.

There is no doubt that the automated option will be more efficient, offer better customer service, and best of all, be ineligible to be press ganged into the RMT union.

Maybe if this group had been a little more helpful, or even friendly, when they had us by the balls for so many years we wouldn’t be so keen to see the back of them? But I think I speak for many when I say – they weren’t, and we are!

Mr Crow and the RMT might be feeling pleased with their efforts right now, but the last laugh will be on a touch screen, wishing a customer a ‘nice day’, as they collect their ticket.

And when the computers take over the Underground there will be no reminiscing about the good old days when humans cheerfully helped passengers on their way, because they didn’t. They were generally a workshy bunch of shirkers, and that is how they will be remembered when they are all gone.

And if it takes the London Underground to be given special status by the government because of its economic importance, then I for one are all for this legislation to be rushed through the house, like a ticket office ‘worker’ going to lunch.

Ticket office workers, this strike is likely to be your last throw of the dice; we don’t need you, and we have no emotional tie to you that makes us want you to stick around.

And I hope you realise that Bob Crow and his union cronies have put you up like Turkeys praying for Christmas, with the sole purpose of fighting one last round in their 20th century class war.


Charlie Mullins

Charlie Mullins is the archetypal entrepreneur having started Pimlico Plumbers from scratch and building it into a multi-million pound enterprise. Always opinionated and often controversial, Charlie’s common sense attitude has earned him a reputation as one of the UK's most outspoken entrepreneurs.

About Charlie Mullins

Charlie Mullins is the archetypal entrepreneur having started Pimlico Plumbers from scratch and building it into a multi-million pound enterprise. Always opinionated and often controversial, Charlie’s common sense attitude has earned him a reputation as one of the UK's most outspoken entrepreneurs.
  • David Lane

    I wonder if the comments on the strike were written without ever reading any of what went before. Keep in mind Boris Johnson when running for election promised to maintain the ticket offices believing it would be nonsense to remove them. The issue the union have is that notices were sent to staff while negotiations were ongoing, that issues of support for disabled users who do generally value the offices were not clarified and the whole process has lacked a framework of good industrial relations. It is a complete pain when transport comes to a stop. It does create significant losses for business. A better way is necessary. But why more anti-union legislation? Instead of the knee jerk reaction look elsewhere to successful industrial economies where unions and management seek to work together – Germany is just one example. Unfortunately, we have a long history of laws (going back to the time of the Black Death, 1350 AD) which try to break the power of working people to come together to improve conditions, health and safety and wellbeing. How many industries now function more safely because of that effort? Good working relationships forged by a shared concern to meet customer needs within the framework of a sustainable business and society work in many organisations and countries. Do we really have to resort to 600 hundred year old polemics which blame workers rather than seek more sensible solutions? David Lane