How to take a (longer) long weekend

This coming Monday is the Late Summer Bank Holiday in the UK. As a qualified historian, I can tell you that Bank Holidays were established in 1871, around the concept that bank workers should be able to attend cricket matches. The current list of 8 official Bank Holidays was laid down by Act of Parliament in 1971. Essentially, it’s a public holiday. We all get the day off work.

Not satisfied with a single extra day off? No problem. If you’re a driver with South West Trains (the train company I have to use in order to get into London from home) and a member of the ASLEF union, you simply plan your strike action so that you get the Tuesday off, as well. Not satisifed with only one long weekend? No problem. If you’re a driver with SWT and in ASLEF, you book yourself another set of strike days for Friday 8th and Monday 11th September, ensuring another nice 4 days off.

Now, I’m not on any side here… as a passenger, I’m just furious, and it’s hard to see how the timing of the strike action isn’t just a cynical way of extending the public holiday. All week, there have been announcements on the trains that the contingency plans for the days affected would be announced at stations today. Well, it turns out that the contingency plan is to tell customers not to travel. Brilliant. Sadly, I don’t think my customer in London will be particularly thrilled…

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2 responses to “How to take a (longer) long weekend

  1. But going back to the cricket, holidays should be mandatory for every test – including Thursday and Friday – Monday is usually when we have the inquiry.

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