Tagged: working conditions

Polar Express worker quits because of ‘terrible’ working conditions

A former Polar Express performer has criticised the working conditions she says forced her to quit.

Janet Melody, of Wolsingham, joined the team of dancing chefs on the festive train ride in November this year.

She said she was invited to two training days that were unpaid before she started working on the train.

“I asked about being paid for the training and I was told that the training was unpaid, and that we were told about it during the audition, but I don’t recall that,” she said.

“I’ve never known of any employer to expect employees to complete training unpaid.”

Inspired by the hit Warner Bros film, The Polar Express, and book by Chris Van Allsburg, the officially licensed train rides returned to Weardale Railway in Stanhope, during November and December.

Miss Melody, 41, said:

“We were paid a little more than minimum wage and as well as entertaining the guests, we were expected to clean the train and set up for the next ride.

“I was part-time, so I worked from 4pm till around 9.30pm and never got a break. It’s physically active stuff, we are singing and dancing all of the time and it’s exhausting.

“Some of the girls were full-time and were working from noon right through to 9.30pm without having time to have a break.

“It’s just so unfair because all of the staff work really hard and they put their all into it.

“Just before I left I think a lot of people were getting sick and leaving – I got a text message from the employer asking if I had any friends who wanted to work there.”

She added:

“I just thought the working conditions were terrible and I wasn’t willing to put myself through that. I have complained but I haven’t heard anything back.”

The Polar Express train ride includes afternoon and evening departures throughout November and December and costs £22 per adult and £17 per child.

A statement from Weardale Railway said:

“Weardale Railway and The Polar Express cannot comment on this publicly as it is a personnel matter.

“We can say that neither Weardale Railway or The Polar Express have received a grievance from any members of our team and we comply with all relevant employment laws.

Source –  Northern Echo,  29 Dec 2014

The world doesn’t owe you a living

The end of politics

“People who are successful do not owe you a living. Stop jealously coveting the success of others, get off your backside, and work at being successful yourselves, instead of expecting government to steal the fruits of other peoples’ labour for your consumption.”

“The world does not owe you a living, you owe the world something. You owe it your time, energy and talent so that no one will be at war, in poverty or sick and lonely again.”

“We’re in the middle of a recession, it’s an employer’s market, and the world doesn’t owe you a living.
we paid the education when there was grants.we did’nt claim dole because we were brought up with a strong work ethic.we did’nt need self help books,we had common sense,and iniative.many of us fought for all the things you now take for granted.the world does’nt owe you a living.”

The above are all comments…

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Osborne’s bid to end democracy by the back door

Mike Sivier's blog


The Coalition government has finally put its cards on the table, calling for the completion of a ‘free trade’ agreement with the United States of America that will end democracy as we know it today.

Do you think this statement is needlessly hyperbolic? In fact, it probably does not make the point strongly enough!

You will lose the ability to affect government policy – particularly on the National Health Service; after the Health and Social Care Act, the trade agreement would put every decision relating to its work on a commercial footing. The rights of transnational corporations would become the priority, health would become primarily a trade issue and your personal well-being would be of no consequence whatsoever.

Profit will rule.

Also threatened would be any other public service that has been privatised by this and previous governments, along with any that are privatised in the future; all would fall…

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