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16.05.12

RMT ballots members over East Midlands Trains dispute

The RMT has entered the pensions dispute with East Midlands Trains, to the anger of the operator.

East Midlands Trains said that the RMT’s ballot of its members employed there was “extremely unhelpful”. Another union, Aslef, has already held a number of strikes as part of the dispute.

David Horne, the operator’s managing director, said: “The fact is that the pension scheme is in good health and the new pension contributions are the recommendation of independent experts. It makes no sense for the RMT to ask their members to join Aslef colleagues in striking for less pay and losing hundreds of pounds by walking out.

“If the unions really have the interests of their members at heart, they should work with us to ensure employees benefit from higher take-home pay and increased pensions benefits. We would urge RMT members to vote against strike action and press their union to get back round the negotiating table.”

The RMT ballot closes on May 30. The union, like Aslef, opposes the plans to reduce the Joint Contribution Rate of the company and employees into the EMT section of the Railways Pension Scheme. The union calls this “irresponsible”.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “While RMT members will receive a small financially gain from a reduction in contributions it is clear that the biggest winner will be the employer.

“Management are trying to con our members in the interests of a windfall profit for the shareholders. We are campaigning for a massive YES vote for action in this ballot.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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