The LBC host slammed the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) for demanding better pay and conditions despite doing a job that is “literally running on rails” for “nearly £60,000 a year”. The rail union announced the 24-hour walkout yesterday, which is set to begin at midnight on 6 June in a dispute over job losses and pensions. Mr Ferrari described the strikes as “incredible” before taking aim at the apparent simplicity of the job.
Mr Ferrari said: “Do you know what train drivers make? £59,000 a year, on average. That’s more than a thousand pounds a week!”
“A four-day week is what you get. Working on Sunday is optional. Now I know I don’t work Sundays anymore but when I first came into this job I used to work seven days a week.
“You retire at 62, and you get £40,000 plus a lump sum. £40,000 is a pension, that is, so that’s each year.
“But their union says their forthcoming campaign of rolling strikes is about pay and conditions.
“And it’s all done by levers anyway. I mean, you’re not going to come off the rails are you? You are, literally, running on rails.
“You arrive on time, you sit in your cabin with a copy of your newspaper and your cup of tea, you drive down to wherever you drive down to, Slough or whatever it is, you walk back the length of the train…you go back and do it again.
“Now it’s not something I would want to do and thank God there are men and women who do it.
“But they get nearly £60,000 a year for doing that and it’s not enough? This is incredible, what more do they want?!”
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The RMT general secretary Mick Lynch announced the strike on Monday and accused Transport for London of “trying to bulldoze through 600 job losses on London Underground”.
He said: “Our members are not prepared to accept that. Instead of seeking to cut jobs, TfL and Mayor Sadiq Khan need to put further pressure on the government to secure increased funding for the network so we can have a properly staffed modern 21st-Century tube.”
The comments come as TfL proposed to close 600 positions on the Underground as part of a much-need post-pandemic savings plan for the railway.
Record low numbers on public transport over the pandemic, as people were locked down, isolating, and working from home, has forced the Department for Transport to review its current spending.
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Mr Khan must make £400 million in savings, raise £1 billion in additional revenue and review the TfL’s pension fund.
He proposed to cut 600 posts to achieve this target, although he said those jobs would be cut by not replacing staff who had either retired or left, thereby protecting those currently employed.
A review into the current TfL pension scheme also found that reforming it could save up to £182 million each year.
Andy Lord, TfL’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are extremely disappointed that the RMT has announced unnecessary strike action on 6 June and share Londoners’ frustrations that this, and the linked action short of a strike, has been designed to disrupt the Jubilee weekend.
“It is particularly surprising that the RMT has threatened to spoil this moment when the nation is coming together as nobody has or will lose their jobs as a result of the proposals we have set out and there have been no proposals on pension changes.”