Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Actually, it's not that hard to crash a train. And again, I know of no plane pilot who has to repair the brakes of his plane. Or has to go down on the pathway of objects moving at 300 km/h, as TGV drivers are sometimes asked to do. That is equivalent to landing in very hard conditions (for which planes are much better designed than trains, and for which pilots receive very adequate training after they are hired).

Actually piloting planes is not that hard mid-flight ; that was proven 6 years ago.

The reasons pilots are handsomely compensated is not difficulty of task, or high responsibility, but rather the fact that they have some of the best unions around. And this is changing with the appearance of low-cost carriers.

That's why coach drivers (urban bus drivers often have SNCF-like compensation), who work for many small companies, or nurses (description of the problem here, ) are not.

SNCF compensations are what you can get, when your profession doesn't have direct access to the money supply of the company, and are reasonably well organised in asking for the raises. Nurses are an example of what you can get without proper organisation. What you can get with really good unions is exemplified by, say, book workers, in France. What you get with access to the money supply is exemplified by the banking convention collective.

Of course, nowadays, when neo-liberals are the one with media access, they are pushing the line that SNCF workers are the ones who are "generously compensated", whereas it is the nurses, or John BusDriver, who never goes on strike, who isn't adequately compensated, because he never collectively asked for a raise with the proper arguments - those of withdrawing work.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Nov 19th, 2007 at 07:59:14 AM EST
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