Wednesday, March 18, 2009

RMT Strike action

MEMBERS OF Britain’s biggest rail union at two major commuter train-operating companies have voted overwhelmingly for strike action to defend jobs. RMT members at First Capital Connect voted by more than three to one to strike, and at National Express East Anglia by more than two to one, after the employers refused to provide unequivocal assurances that there would be no compulsory redundancies. In a third ballot over jobs, at South West Trains, where bosses suspended a pay rise and where managers are known to have told staff that those who voted for action would get less redundancy pay, members have voted narrowly against strike action. “Our members at National Express East Anglia and First Capital Connect have struck a blow against selfish employers who are seeking to slash jobs solely in order to maintain profits and dividends,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today. “The RMT executive will meet shortly to decide on the shape of action our members will take if the employers fail to withdraw these damaging and completely unnecessary cuts. “South West Trains fought a dirty campaign, refusing to implement a pay increase, which would have adversely affected redundancy pay, and scaring people into believing that their severance money would be cut further if they voted to take action. “It is testimony to the courage and discipline of the union’s reps that the vote against action at SWT was a narrow one, and RMT will continue to oppose redundancies at the company with every legal and political means at our disposal. “The scale of job cuts planned by operators across the railways threatens to undermine services, safety and the very fabric of an industry that is crucial to our economy and environment, and it is vital that they are stopped. “The government has said it will use public projects to help Britain weather the recession, but if it allows these greedy privateers to slash jobs to maintain profits it will be subsidising redundancies instead. “Private rail operators have demonstrated time and again that their shareholders always come first, and it is time for rail operations to be returned to the public sector where they can be run in the interests of passengers, the economy and the environment,” Bob Crow said. SWT BALLOT RESULT Votes Cast: 1103 Spoiled Papers: 1 Those Voting YES: 511 Those Voting NO: 591

1 comment:

Mark Still News said...

I went to Islington trades Council last evening, when I brought up about the SWT RMT report delegates were very shocked that there were members who failed to vote to fight for their jobs. Many delegates thought it was bizarre that people were prepared to lie down and accept voluntary redundancy when you have a ratio of 82 job searchers for 1 job and it’s going to get a lot worse!

The membership was given the chance to have a yes ballot, but 591 voted against the union’s recommendations. I am sure the RMT will do its best for us it can under these very difficult circumstances.

Sometimes you wonder what planet these people are on. The severance pay may last 18 Months if you have done the 20 years and get the top payout, but when its run out and they are still out there looking for a job along with millions of others it won’t be any good to them. All the while one is not working they can’t build up their pension fund as it will be frozen.

At least we can say with dignity it was a narrow vote-Recruitment and Retention will be very important not to let the membership no’s go down.