Caller Charlie called LBC and was furious over plans to revise the subway drivers’ work schedule as London’s night train relaunches. But Nick Ferrari was less sympathetic and chose to attack Charlie and his striking colleague because they complained that despite their high salary they had to work differently. The pair went back and forth as Mr. Ferrari made mocking remarks about Charlie’s work-life balance, which annoyed the caller.
On LBC, caller Charlie spoke out furiously that he and his colleagues were not consulted about the nighttime tube reintroduction.
Charlie told Mr Ferrari he would expect some form of consultation if his contract were to be changed.
Mr Ferrari agreed he would like to be involved in any changes in workload but explained that due to the nature of his job he expects to be flexible to fit the news agenda.
He said: “If there are tragedies or whatever and we decide to bring the show up half an hour…
“I don’t get involved in fights and then go on strike.
“If it’s a big news day, I’ll come early, of course, because [it is what I signed up to]”
Mr Ferrari then exclaimed that for a tube driver’s base salary, which is £56,496, they couldn’t be bothered to work four nights.
He bellowed that people were “laughing” at people like Charlie.
Charlie said it was a “race to the bottom”, with Mr Ferrari laughing again as the caller complained about a £56,000+ salary.
The subway driver explained that his salary and benefits were the result of industrial action and wanted to “park” the attack on his wages.
Mr Ferrari believed that from that amount the drivers were expected to behave in a certain way.
The radio host asked if Charlie would be happy to know that some women could be endangered because there was no bedside table available.
He replied that he would not use the night train and said it was dangerous and would instead pay for a taxi for his daughters to return from a party.
Mr Ferrari noted that Charlie could probably afford that because he had a high salary, unlike many others.
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RMT members chose to go on strike from 4:30am on Friday with further strikes planned until December 18.
The night train will be reintroduced on November 27, but RMT members have been told not to work at night and walk away.
The Victoria, Central, Northern, Jubilee and Piccadilly lines are all affected by the strike.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who supported the reintroduction of the night tube, said it endangers women’s lives.
According to the new work schedules, pipe drivers would have to work four night shifts a year on weekends.
But the RMT says drivers have not been consulted about the changes and says travel bosses have not considered the grievances to be at the heart of the matter.
The RMT has instructed drivers not to work on the Victoria and Central line between 8.30pm Saturday and 4.30am Sunday when the overnight train restarts.
Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT, said the strike was about “the breakup of popular and family-friendly conventions that helped make the original overnight train such a success.”
He continued: “Instead, the company wants to cut costs and lump all drivers together, where they can be kicked from pillar to post at the behest of management.”