Latest Rail News

11.10.13

RMT to ballot for strike action across First Great Western

The RMT union is balloting on strike action against First Great Western. 

The ballot will be across all grades, in a dispute over unfair dismissals, abuse of disciplinary procedures, and over-use of agency staff, the union said. It accused the operator of treating staff “abysmally” and bullying them. 

The union, which is balloting about 2,500 staff, said: “As a result of the failure to reach any sort of agreement due to management intransigence, RMT’s executive has taken the decisions to link the combination of issues together and ballot all FGW members for industrial action.” 

The timetable for the ballot has not yet been announced. 

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “RMT FGW members have had enough of being kicked from pillar to post and management should be under no illusion that unless a satisfactory agreement is reached on all of these issues the union will continue with a campaign of industrial and political action until such time as the collapse in industrial relations is resolved. 

“With First securing a highly lucrative extension to their Great Western contract last week there is no excuse for them to blame the failure to reach agreement on the uncertainty over the franchise. It is also clear as day that they have the money available now to employ adequate numbers of permanent staff and to treat them with dignity and respect in every workplace. 

“Despite the award of the franchise extension, and despite the best efforts of RMT’s negotiators, there had been a further deterioration of industrial relations between RMT and First Great Western and the stack of issues we have identified amount to a catalogue of contempt that the company is clearly displaying for its most important asset – its staff.” 

In a separate dispute, FGW cleaners are on strike today over wages and the use of zero-hours contracts. The cleaners working for contractor Mitie are on a 24-hour walkout. 

A FGW spokesman said: “It is disappointing that RMT is once again playing with their members’ livelihoods by asking them to take strike action when discussions to resolve these issues have not yet run their course through the usual processes. 

“We provided written responses and proposed solutions months ago to many of the issues raised, which are without foundation, and we have yet to receive any reply from the RMT. 

“Threats such as this risk giving the impression that RMT is more interested in playing political games than having sensible, constructive conversations about resolving these issues for their members and our colleagues. We look forward to hearing whether RMT will respond and take up our open offer to discuss these issues.” 

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

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

Rail industry Focus

View all News

Comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

14/11/2019Maximising efficiency requires investment in data, but it’s rewards for rail could be extensive

Rail Technology Magazine’s Matt Roberts explains the significant role data can play within the future development of the rail industry. Standing as a cornerstone of the UK transport network, the rail industry is forever striving to in... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

Interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >