Wednesday 26 January 2011

What is a ‘pay restraint’, ask Tube drivers


Tube drivers across the capital have asked what a ‘pay restraint’ is, insisting that if they are asked to wear one they will contact their union.

Mervyn King said that without a squeeze on take-home pay, people were likely to go out and buy all manner of unnecessary tat, which is what got us into this situation in the first place.

However Tube drivers are struggling with the concept of wage restraint, claiming that forty grand a year is no way near enough for a button presser to struggle by on.

The drivers, who are threatening to strike on the day of the royal wedding because they aren’t being paid triple time and receiving a day off in lieu – in addition to their seven weeks paid holiday a year – insist that regular wage increases are part and parcel of being a tube driver.

One tube driver told us, “I was a goth, and I already know that I look ridiculous in any sort of choker – so there’s no way I’m wearing a ‘pay restraint’, whatever it is.  Not a chance.”

“I don’t care who is urging us to put one on, I’m a tube driver, and I know that we don’t have to beat to the rhythm of society’s economic drum.”

“I think that today I’ll wear a nice pair of ‘bumper pay pantaloons’, actually.”

Mervyn King urges pay restraint

A union spokesperson told us that Mervyn King’s assertion clearly wasn’t aimed at tube drivers, who only make up a fraction of a percent of the nation’s overall workforce.

“You don’t think we got to forty grand a year by exercising restraint, do you?”

“Look, if everyone else in the country exercises restraint, you could pay us, say, 50% more, and we’d still be better off as a country overall.”

“Which is why that argument will be our opening negotiation stance at the latest round of talks. Between you and me though, we’ll settle for 20% and another week’s holiday.”

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