Dirt-boss started taking your concerns in the last issue. He kindly agreed to do us a favour and listen to your gripes regarding the plant industry. We are kind of sorry he did now, as he has taken out a contract on us. Right now, the UK plant operators team is holed up in a cave in the Helmand province waiting for the heat to die down. You see, Dirt-boss has been overwhelmed with the emails from operators looking to get a concern of their chest. His laptop melted, and he is proper pissed. He texted us saying that Donald Trump meeting up with the North Korean with the dodgy haircut was a walk in the park compared to listening to whinging plant operators. Anyway, we promised him the AC/DC greatest hits CD and 50 packets of rolling tobacco if he continued with his brief. Deep down we know he really loves digger drivers, maybe not shovel operators, but he has agreed to continue in his position as agony uncle to the industry. If you want to share your pain, drop an email to him at firstname.lastname@example.org and pray he doesn’t call round to you! Of all the emails that came in, Dirt-boss agrees with this one and said it was a right proper good whinge. Enjoy!
I am glad there is someone out there that will listen to the concerns of digger drivers. I hate the word operator. I am not an operator, I am a fully qualified, highly skilled driver. Over the past few years they have introduced the agency driver. Now the employer is not obliged to take someone on because of the commitment of employing a qualified driver full time. My biggest problem is that they are quite willing to go out and hire a sub-contractor driver from an agency, paying them up to £22 an hour and refusing to pay skilled drivers who work full-time for the company a decent rate. Agency drivers have no respect for the equipment and as far as they are concerned it is just another job and at 5pm they are out the door regardless of what must be done. I want to see employers and plant firms not to be afraid of having their own work force again. I think they fear another recession, but they need to go back to a proper paid full-time driver as this will give them loyalty, respect, equipment looked after and most importantly team work. They will also retain the correct skills within their business. If plant owners did this and paid their staff a good rate, then I believe they would see great returns and a very happy workforce. Happy means more productivity. Hopefully they will read this and seriously rethink the current policy, otherwise I fear for the future.
William in Leeds.