Luckily Bob Crow is only a union leader

Railway union boss Bob Crow reckons putting a one-penny tax on text messaging would wipe out half the UK\’s deficit, demonstrating a rather optimistic approach to financial planning.

It\’s not just that he\’s ignorant of basic economics, that you\’ll get fewer such messages if you charge for each and every one of them, it\’s that he\’s innumerate to boot.

It would have to be £1 each to halve (roughly) this year\’s deficit.

5 thoughts on “Luckily Bob Crow is only a union leader”

  1. mind you, mobile phones are a pretty good tax handle aren’t they? never mind Crow’s specific claims but a small tax on text messages would have been a nice idea, if it wasn’t for the fact they are probably going to be replaced shortly by some other technology that would be harder to tax, like instant messaging.

  2. In the mid nineties I had one of the first models of phone in the UK capable of sending a text message, and back then they did cost £1 each…..

  3. Read the interview, it is enlightening. I spend my life around business managers and owners and I have yet to meet anybody with such a narrow, conservative and one-dimensional view of their responsibility or their job. Certainly, one way to be successful. Mind you any transport worker has the same power.

    We, in Spain, had the air traffic controllers wildcatting by going off sick on receipt of a text message from the Union collapsing the airports at the start of a five-day holiday period. Remember these guys were earning an average of over €300,000 per year with some hitting €900,000 per year. (Think pounds, it’s close enough). The end result of causing transport problems and having a Bob Crow on your side.

    This time they just went too far and got militarised for their trouble.

    I haven’t had much contact lately with Unions and I had forgotten what it can sometimes be like.

    The Mike O’Leary of the Unions just about sums Mr Crow up. Although I think Bobby would win on points.

    Still, in both cases, you know exactly where they are coming from and how you will have to deal with them. Don’t fly Ryanair if you don’t like the hassle and don’t work for London Transport in a HR rôle if you want to live peacefully.

  4. I’m a little bit late to this but I’ve been pondering an idea lately and just wanted to run it by a few brains…

    A rail worker might join a union to increase their working conditions or improve pay. They pay a fee in order to be a part of that union. They invest.

    The existence of the unions and the subsequent increase in salaries must presumably create increased costs to the management.

    Assuming the conflict itself has substantial costs in the form of lost revenues, time in meetings etc, why don’t the management team offer the same benefits at a reduced rate on the proviso that the staff do not become union members?

    A new recruit might walk into the office and you offer him the normal contract or the normal contract + (150% of typical union induced benefits per year) for not being a union member. If the new recruit accepts the offer then everyone is happy with the exception of Bob Crow. The new recruit has more pay and better working conditions. The railway management has reduced costs and the commuter has a reliable transport network with happier staff.

    Essentially, provide a better union membership than the unions at a lower price and with better benefits by removing the cost of the conflict.

    This is definitely a “draft” idea and possibly a daft idea. I’m just wondering why it wouldn’t work?

    Tim adds: Many companies do something like this: they pay above the going rate in order to keep out unions. Unfortunately, if you do this when you’ve already got unions, your exact asuggestion, then you provoke a walk out over the very idea of it.

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