Anorak News | Tube Drivers Deserve Their £50k: Blithering Bloody Nonsense

Tube Drivers Deserve Their £50k: Blithering Bloody Nonsense

by | 4th, October 2011

WE’RE told today that Tube drivers deserve their £50,000 a year pay packets because, well, because they deserve them:

But the drivers who take the millions of Londoners and visitors and tourists to their destinations every day are unsung heroes and heroines. They should be recognised as such in their pay packets, which the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union is still in the process of finalising, not least for having to deal with the lurking possibility of a “one under”. That’s what’s so special about those guys.

As the comments in The Guardian point out, you don’t in fact get £50k a year because people die in front of you: ask a few nurses, paramedics or Marines how much they get paid.

But that’s not what makes this such blithering bloody nonsense. Pay is not determined on worth, or value, or just rewards. We live in a market society, one where pay is determined upon supply and demand. How much do we have to pay people to get enough suitably qualified people to step forward and offer to do the job?

As it turns out, there are so many people who want to be journalists that you can pay them peanuts and still get people queuing up: the average journalist makes around and about £20k a year actually. As it also happens there aren’t that many people both capable of being investment bankers and also willing to work the insane hours they do: thus high pay.

Are there lots of people who want to be Tube drivers? I’ve no idea: but the only way to find out if pay is too high is to look at the queue of people waiting to get the job. Or if the pay is too low by looking at the gaps where all those drivers we want are off doing something else. Deserve has nothing at all to do with it.

Posted: 4th, October 2011 | In: Key Posts, Money Comments (6) | TrackBack | Permalink