If you were in Sydney a few years ago, you might remember the best ever example of industrial action that I’ve ever seen. Rather than pulling another last-minute bus strike in peak hour and leaving people stranded in the morning unable to get to work, the bus drivers decided to run the buses – for free. Their industrial action was to refuse to collect fares. What a great way to get the right kind of attention – from the public AND from their bosses.
I’ve never understood why industrial action so often involves pissing off the people you want to support you – by striking, or holding protest marches through the city at 5pm.
I’m not really sure whether the bus drivers got what they wanted, but I do know that for quite a while, every one in Sydney was totally backing the bus drivers. They were the most popular guys in town. I bet their work was pleasant for those few weeks.
I was reminded of those days of free bus rides this morning, when I scored another free bus ride. This one was much less pleasant though, because the bus driver did NOT take the opportunity to create a positive user experience.