Friday, May 6, 2011

I hate the TEC.

The bus drivers here in Liège are on strike, again.

It's a wildcat strike, again.

Do you want to know why all the bus-drivers have decided not to drive their buses?  Because another bus driver was found by a judge to be at fault for his actions when he hit another motorist and hurt them while he was working.  This, rightfully was considered a "faute grave", meaning he could be fired for it.

In my eyes, if you go on strike to support someone who has already been found guilty of a serious fault, it is the same as saying "If I had committed a serious error while on the job, one that hurt someone else and demonstrated an extreme lack of attention to professionalism while working, I would expect to keep my job and not be punished."

It is ridiculous that all the bus drivers in the Liège region are not driving, and will not be driving for FOUR DAYS because of this.  Not only this but they did not follow procedure in giving the public advance notice about the strike, so now they are ALL, (not only in their show of solidarity with their guilty colleague but also in striking without notifying the public,) being grossly unprofessional.  It hurts the image of the TEC (the public transport company), it hurts the students who can't get to school, it hurts the workers who can't get to work, and it hurts the economy.  Who wins?  Nobody.  Everyone loses.  It is the most pointless strike ever.

All this to try and protect someone a judge has already found guilty.
This was not the intended purpose of socialism and the labour movement, and judging by the comments left on the websites of local newspapers covering the matter, most of the (non bus-driving) natives of the region are as disgusted as I am by the stupidity of it all.

More about my chocolate course soon... (I'm uploading photos and video from it onto my computer now!)


Sebastián Moncho said...

I don't know in Liege, but in Spain people drives crazy. Who was the accident's fault? From the bus driver or from the other vehicle? It's logic that if the bus crashes may be it's fault of the bus driver... but there are insurences for that kind of accidents. So that's not the problem.

I supose that the strikes goes because the drivers are obligated to work several hours and in very bad conditions. It's not the same work only 30 hours a week on a chair that driving a heavy vehicle 40 hours a week. And it's more difficult if you can't select the hours you work: maybe you work today 4 hours, but tomorrow you must do 14.

The strikes, in general, doesn't want to stop firing employes or fucking peaple. The strikes are for cry "Ey, theres a big problem and we don't have solutions".

May be you're sourprise for my comment, but some years ago we had a very important train crash on Valencia. About 40 deads. First the TV and de Goverment said that was the drivers fault, but after an investigation we discovered very big issues of bad security on rails and very bad conditions on drivers.

Mons Ben said...

There seems to be a lot of industrial action round your way. And whenever I log on to the website (which I do everyday before catching my train home), there are always delays or "pertubation" around the Liege area.

Yes, totally agree with your comments. These people give trade unions a really bad name. This is not what they were set up to do. In fact, their actions are outrageous. I'd be steaming.

I'd sack the bloody lot of them. Maybe. Something similar(ish) happened on the Tube in London a few years ago: tube worker found to be playing badminton after supposedly being off work with an ankle injury. Got sacked. Strike action proposed. Can't remember if they went on strike or not.

Sebastian, I'm not sure this strike has anything to do with working conditions (knowing Belgium, they probably have short working days).

Laura and Ben said...

Wow! This is worse than the strike in Belgium which was called after someone punched a metro driver. At the inquest during the day of the strike it was discovered that the metro driver had done the initial punching. The strike continued. Mental.

Jessica said...

Interestingly enough, it seems the unions have either forced the drivers back to work, or the drivers have consulted with the unions and realized the only support they're getting on this one is from each other.

In a *very* uncharacteristic move, after saying they'd meet on Monday morning to decide whether they'd go back to work or not the drivers have (on a Saturday... gasp) announced they'll be going back to work and that it should be pretty much business as usual on Sunday.