Rail Strikes Shed Light on Need for Better Management and Control

Weeks and months of frustration came to a culminating point on Tuesday June 21st, as 10,000 London Underground staff walked off the job. They’re protesting a worsening dynamic between work and pay and are offering us all a much-needed reminder of just how vulnerable our infrastructure is to disruption.

The Rail Strikes – Who And Why

In favour of better wages and support amid a growing cost-of-living crisis, this strike is the result of failed negotiations between the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) and train operators, Network Rail, and London Underground.

For weeks, both sides have been sitting at the table to try to come to an agreement on terms that will remediate what workers are calling an unfair dynamic of ‘low pay and precarious work’. They’re fed up with rising inflation and proposed cuts, and have demanded a pay increase which reflects the rising cost of living, no unagreed changes to terms and conditions, and a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies from the rail operators.

However, latest offers and calls for resolution from Downing Street and Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, were not enough to appease the union, who decided to leave their posts across 13 different operators on Tuesday morning.

The results were far-reaching – skeleton timetables showed service cut down to 20% and about half of Network Rail’s lines closed.

With 40,000 members off the job, this marked the union’s largest collective strike in 33 years. In fact, according to RMT general secretary Mick Lynch, they had a ‘fantastic’ turnout which actually exceeded their prior expectations.

The Far-Reaching Impacts

The effects of this strike go far beyond the RMT and some rail unions. For commuters, this walk out has meant a long and arduous journey to work on already-crowded roads and buses. And for those who couldn’t make it in, it meant a loss of income as they were forced to stay home.

London in particular has become the epicentre of the damage, as due to the capital’s deep reliance on metro systems – only about half of households own a car – many people have been left with no other option.

This of course has only led to knock-on impacts felt by businesses across the city, many of which have been forced to adapt their operations or completely close their doors due to lack of staff.

A Much-Needed Reminder On Preparedness

The events we’ve seen unfold over the past couple of weeks are yet another reminder of the volatility in today’s business world. The pandemic has forced organisations of all shapes and sizes to rapidly adapt their plans and processes in order to stay afloat, and now we’re seeing the same thing happen with this strike.

For some, this may be the first time they’ve had to confront this level of risk. But for insurers, MGAs and brokers, it’s business as usual. Being part of an industry fraught with uncertainty, they’re familiar with having to be nimble and adapt.

In order to both protect themselves and their clients when things go wrong, insurers understand the importance of complete oversight and insight into sudden changes in the market. What this means for them is having the appropriate regulatory systems and strategies in place to identify and mitigate challenges as they occur.

Counterparty risk is at the forefront of this, as insurers need to be able to identify which trading partners may pose a threat and take steps to limit their exposure.

But with the right tools and processes in place, insurers can be prepared for anything. And while there’s no way to completely avoid risk, they can at least be ready for when it comes knocking…

The Takeaway

The impact of the recent RMT strike action has been far-reaching, causing disruptions for commuters, businesses, and the economy as a whole. What all organisations can learn from these events is the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. Having a plan in place to manage disruptions – be they man-made or natural – is critical to mitigating their impact and keeping your business running smoothly.

That’s why at REG Technologies, we offer products like the REG Network, which can help protect your business in the event of these types of disruptions. Allowing you to oversee all your counterparts and be notified instantly if changes are to occur. This real time due diligence is designed to help you weather the storm during any unforeseen circumstance.

So, if you’re looking for protection against the risks that come with doing business in today’s world, we are here to help. Get in touch with us today.

Nathan Banfield
Nathan Banfield
Nathan Banfield is a Customer Success Manager at REG Technologies. Nathan is passionate about bringing the best service to our customers and strives to help them run their business Faster, Smarter, Safer.
Connect on LinkedIn and find out more about how REG can help you, or call 0203 946 2885.

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