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Author Topic: RMT Demands withdrawal of patronising GWR hi vis cleaning vests  (Read 1188 times)
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« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2020, 08:29:04 am »


Complaining about a silly high vis and trying to increase wages on Scotrail that once they emergency measures run out will lead to redundancies. Yeah they are doing a cracking job  Grin

Putting concerns of their members to an employer and putting in a request for higher wages on behalf of their members to and employer is the roll of a Trade Union.  In the end it comes down to how the the employer and union discuss them, if either fold their arms age get all huffy about it then nothing gets resolved.

99.9% of issues in the industry where management and unions meet are resolved amicably and without confrontation.

In the case of these Hi-vis vests the media have latched onto it
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« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2020, 09:13:19 am »

99.9% of issues in the industry where management and unions meet are resolved amicably and without confrontation.

In the case of these Hi-vis vests the media have latched onto it

Agree with both. However, you can't 'blame' the media for latching on to it, bearing in mind the very strong press release (i.e. information to the media) put out by the RMT.  Would the media have picked it up has the matter been amicably discussed, with RMT members informed of the concerns and the outcome via a newsletter? Really doubt it!

With some RMT members (I speculate) being very upset indeed at the wording on the HiVis vests, perhaps the union management made the calculated decision to "go heavy" and be seen to be doing something, in order to indicate their concern and action to their members.   It may be part of a wider member relationship position - a helpful lever that lets them remind members that they're strongly there for them, even in these times where the headlines are so much covid and about everyone working together.

We should also remember that the RMT are a big union, and their putting resources into the HiVis jacket business does not mean that they are dropping any other activities - they are fully big enough to work in parallel on other working conditions, salaries, member support, and their own succession in senior union roles.
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« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2020, 09:30:55 am »


Complaining about a silly high vis and trying to increase wages on Scotrail that once they emergency measures run out will lead to redundancies. Yeah they are doing a cracking job  Grin



99.9% of issues in the industry where management and unions meet are resolved amicably and without confrontation.



That's akin to saying 99.9% of International incidents are resolved amicably but now and again we have World War Two.

You have to look at what happens where the Unions adopt a position and won't shift from it - it's that % which end in strikes/working to rule etc which cause the damage - take BBQ Sundays for example.

All too often Trade Unions justify any and every activity as "representing the membership", when the majority of the membership aren't interested - the number/% of members who can be bothered to take part in ballots for example is often very small.

Don't get me wrong - the Trade Union movement has achieved a huge amount in this country and elsewhere, but frankly this issue is resonant of those with too much time on their hands, and the media is quite justified in highlighting it - just as they are when "management" misbehave - I give you the coverage of Priti Patel.
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« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2020, 09:41:49 am »

All too often Trade Unions justify any and every activity as "representing the membership", when the majority of the membership aren't interested - the number/% of members who can be bothered to take part in ballots for example is often very small.

Yes but so many things unions deal with only affect a very small number of their members, but for those affected it is a big deal. It is right that they take up their members case. I don't think RMT are proposing a nation al rail strike over this, but they do want to do something for those members affected who don't like this.
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« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2020, 10:11:24 am »

All too often Trade Unions justify any and every activity as "representing the membership", when the majority of the membership aren't interested - the number/% of members who can be bothered to take part in ballots for example is often very small.

Yes but so many things unions deal with only affect a very small number of their members, but for those affected it is a big deal. It is right that they take up their members case. I don't think RMT are proposing a nation al rail strike over this, but they do want to do something for those members affected who don't like this.

A fair point. Smaller numbers should never be disregarded. But neither should bigger pictures.
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« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2020, 11:44:54 am »


You have to look at what happens where the Unions adopt a position and won't shift from it - it's that % which end in strikes/working to rule etc which cause the damage - take BBQ Sundays for example.

There are times when management refuse to engage and just dictate likewise when a rep will not engage.
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« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2020, 12:15:12 am »

What was the intention of introducing the wording on the vests, anyway?

If to mislead the public about the status of the cleaning staff, or to make the employees feel better, it seems to have failed spectacularly.
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2020, 08:19:33 am »

What was the intention of introducing the wording on the vests, anyway?

If to mislead the public about the status of the cleaning staff, or to make the employees feel better, it seems to have failed spectacularly.


I suspect it was an attempt on behalf of GWR to create a bit of esprit de corps and remind the public of the vital role which cleaners play at this time - I recall reading recently that a number of trains and Tube trains had been analysed and no evidence of the virus was present, which would suggest that their efforts had been extremely diligent - some may say heroic even in that context?

Perhaps they should have anticipated that the RMT would respond in such a desk thumping, foot stamping way, or maybe they were a little naive in assuming that the usual cynicism was suspended for the duration?

 
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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2020, 08:25:32 am »

Perhaps they should have anticipated that the RMT would respond in such a desk thumping, foot stamping way, or maybe they were a little naive in assuming that the usual cynicism was suspended for the duration?

I think it unlikely that RMT raised the issue without a complaint from their members. 

I suspect it was an attempt on behalf of GWR to create a bit of esprit de corps and remind the public of the vital role which cleaners play at this time - I recall reading recently that a number of trains and Tube trains had been analysed and no evidence of the virus was present, which would suggest that their efforts had been extremely diligent - some may say heroic even in that context?

Perhaps it demonstrates that such efforts only work in you actually engage with the people involved to see what would achieve that, rather than guessing. Failing to do so is patronising. 
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« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2020, 08:54:27 am »

Perhaps they should have anticipated that the RMT would respond in such a desk thumping, foot stamping way, or maybe they were a little naive in assuming that the usual cynicism was suspended for the duration?

I think it unlikely that RMT raised the issue without a complaint from their members. 

I suspect it was an attempt on behalf of GWR to create a bit of esprit de corps and remind the public of the vital role which cleaners play at this time - I recall reading recently that a number of trains and Tube trains had been analysed and no evidence of the virus was present, which would suggest that their efforts had been extremely diligent - some may say heroic even in that context?

Perhaps it demonstrates that such efforts only work in you actually engage with the people involved to see what would achieve that, rather than guessing. Failing to do so is patronising. 

Perhaps it demonstrates very effectively that the parodies of certain Trade Union activists by Monty Python, Not the Nine O'Clock News etc prove that the best satire is based in reality?
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« Reply #25 on: Yesterday at 12:45:46 am »

What was the intention of introducing the wording on the vests, anyway?

If to mislead the public about the status of the cleaning staff, or to make the employees feel better, it seems to have failed spectacularly.



How is it misleading? GWR pay the contractor for a contract to hire staff and manage them. Ultimately they still work for GWR. Quite frankly they should be thankful they have a job, as a lot of people would quite happily take their place.

I have my own opinion on the staff grumbling about a his vis but I will keep it to myself.  I've worked for big international company under a contract role run by another I had no issue with it, as long as I was paid on time, treated well I didn't care who's branded uniform I wore.
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« Reply #26 on: Yesterday at 09:14:13 am »

There are differences between HiVis for safety, HiVis to bring staff or volunteers to the attention of the public (a uniform to make them clearly available to help customers), and HiVis to point out to the public that the person inside the uniform is special / noble / etc.   In the latter case, it might be a proud badge for some, but an embarrassment and publicity they would wish to avoid for many, and should not be forced on people or a required element of their job.    Writing from personal thoughts when I wear HiVis ...
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