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Author Topic: RMT strike action Summer 2022  (Read 9176 times)
plymothian
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« on: June 07, 2022, 05:38:03 pm »

All RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers) members at GWR (Great Western Railway) have been instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:

 

•              0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Tuesday 21st  June 2022

•              0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Thursday 23rd  June 2022

•              0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 25th  June 2022
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ChrisB
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2022, 05:52:53 pm »

Bang goes Glastonbury!

On the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers) website

Quote
Our Ref: BR2/10/1

7th June 2022

RMT CALLS STRIKE ACTION

Dear Colleague,

DEFEND JOBS, PAY AND CONDITIONS – GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY

Firstly, I would like to congratulate you and your colleagues for achieving this monumental vote for industrial action, which has sent a clear message to the company that we demand job security, a decent and substantial pay reward and for our terms and conditions to be protected.

During the global pandemic the rail industry were keen to promote you and your colleagues as key workers. To use your hard work in their propaganda, and their praise of a continued service, despite the horrific situation that not only the country, but the whole world was experiencing.

You and your colleagues continued to work during the pandemic, ensuring the railways moved to allow key workers, such as yourself to continue working. During this period the railway has continued to make substantial profits, despite the rail industry being at an all time low for passenger numbers and ticket sales. However, now that it is time to reward the people who kept the railway moving and kept the profits coming in for Great Western Railway, management have gone silent and the company no longer has any money to guarantee your jobs security or reward your hard work with a substantial pay increase.

In my previous correspondence I outlined that I would be raising the issue at an industrywide level. I have since been in discussions with the Rail Industry Recovery Group with the aim of creating a framework and structure for negotiations and discussions on all the issues at the heart of this dispute.

However, during these discussions no firm commitments have been obtained from Network Rail or any Train Operating Company on Job Security, nor has any pay proposal been put forward by any company. During discussions on this issue all the companies have indicated that they wish to pursue their full agenda of “workforce reform” and cuts through a transition process.

Considering the lack of tangible progress through these discussions the Union’s National Executive Committee has considered this matter further. The NEC» (National Exhibition Centre - about) believe that Great Western Railway are not taking the situation seriously and that we must now take industrial action. The NEC has decided to instruct all members of all grades, in all locations, to take 3 periods of 24-hour strike action.

Therefore, ALL Great Western Railway members are instructed to not to book on for any shifts that commence between:

0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Tuesday 21st June 2022
0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Thursday 23rd June 2022
0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 25th June 2022

I urge you all to stand shoulder to shoulder during the days of industrial action. All members, branches, regions, representatives, and officers are instructed to continue to make active preparations for the industrial action set out and to prepare for effective picketing regimes during this phase of action. Further information will be distributed to members on picketing locations and members should speak with their local representatives or branches.

The company has been advised that, as always, the Union is readily available for meaningful negotiations with the employer on this issue and we urge the company to make tangible and definite proposals at the earliest opportunity.

You and your colleagues deserve better and now we must take a stand to demand better.

HARD WORK DESERVES FAIR PAY
SUPPORT THE ACTION
UNITY IS STRENGTH

Yours sincerely

Michael Lynch
General Secretary
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2022, 06:31:41 pm »

Bang goes even more public sympathy (to be fair, there was very little to lose)

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plymothian
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2022, 06:44:51 pm »

Same dates announced for all TOCs (Train Operating Company) in dispute and Network Rail.
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Timmer
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2022, 07:21:36 pm »

I don’t think the government have any intention of resolving this dispute and are prepared to let them strike hurting both the rail industry and it’s workers and in the end the cuts will still go through.

The fact that the a great proportion of the workforce are now geared to WFH (Working From Home) following Covid means strike action is less effective than it was a few years ago.

I also suspect that the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers) took a look at the events calendar to see what events could be disrupted by strike action.
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nickswift99
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2022, 07:52:35 pm »

Are you suggesting that Royal Ascot and Henley Regatta were deliberately avoided?  Wink
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2022, 08:51:52 pm »

Are you suggesting that Royal Ascot and Henley Regatta were deliberately avoided?  Wink

RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers) leadership have likely all got tickets and hospitality arranged for Ascot & Henley, so wouldn't want to risk missing them!

(The dates of Wimbledon have probably been avoided for the same reason!)
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plymothian
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2022, 10:01:01 pm »

I don’t think the government have any intention of resolving this dispute and are prepared to let them strike hurting both the rail industry and it’s workers and in the end the cuts will still go through.

Johnson needs something to make him popular again.  Crushing the left wing militant rail unions will do just that.
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grahame
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2022, 01:21:07 pm »

From Mark Hopwood at GWR (Great Western Railway) and Mike Gallop at Network Rail

Quote
You may have seen that the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers) (Rail, Maritime and Transport Trade Union) have today announced that they have asked members to take strike action on Tuesday 21 June, Thursday 23 June and Saturday 25 June.   The dates are the same across all Train Operators providing services for the Department for Transport (DfT» (Department for Transport - about)) and Network Rail, and they coincide with strikes on the London Underground (21 June) as well as Glastonbury Festival in the South West between Wednesday 22 June and Sunday 26 June.
 
We thought it might be helpful to share with you both the Rail Delivery Group release  https://media.raildeliverygroup.com/news/rmt-urged-to-call-off-strikes-and-stay-at-the-table
and Network Rail’s national release with comments from Andrew Haines, Network Rail Chief Executive https://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/news/talks-continue-in-rail-dispute
 
We are now working on the impacts and GWR will issue a further update next week with more details about train services.   We anticipate most rail services will be affected and we will be advising customers to consider their plans and to check before they travel. Any train services that we do operate are likely to be extremely busy.  Anything you can do to help spread that message would be much appreciated. 
 
While strike days have been announced we are committed to keep talking with Trades Union colleagues to work together for a sustainable railway for our future. We’re doing everything we can to avoid strike action on the railway. There are a few weeks until the first strike is planned. We will use this time to keep talking to our unions and, through compromise and common sense on both sides, we hope to find a solution and avoid the damage that strike action would cause all involved.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2022, 02:16:06 pm »

ASLEF» (Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen - about) have accepted 5% from Scotrail (They're going to put it to their members this time)

BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) News - ScotRail agrees 5% pay deal with train drivers union
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-61737750

From the Union

"The offer on pay has been increased to 5% and we have received improved offers on pay for rest day working, Sunday working allowances, driving instructor allowances, maternity pay and an extension of no compulsory redundancies to five years. There has also been an improved proposal around the non consolidated revenue scheme.”

“The Joint Working Party will also be looking at Sundays being part of the working week subject to negotiations by December 2027 as per the Aslef charter.
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NickB
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2022, 02:41:50 pm »

Will tfl services (Crossrail) be impacted by the strike in the latter part of the week or should those services be running after the 21st?
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ChrisB
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« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2022, 02:50:38 pm »

Will tfl services (Crossrail) be impacted by the strike in the latter part of the week or should those services be running after the 21st?

They should be - but whether they'll be impacted by the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers) signallers is another matter....
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2022, 08:28:48 am »

Interesting view from Tony Lodge yesterday......

Later this month, Britain’s biggest rail union will deliver a hammer blow to the railways’ finances, future growth prospects and probably its own members’ jobs. By announcing three staggered strike days, they have designed the walkout to inflict the maximum possible disruption over the longest possible time to try to force ministers to bow to pay demands. The damage that this will inflict to future passenger confidence, perceived reliability and market share will be huge.

So why are the rail unions leading their members into what could be the most damaging series of national rail strikes for a generation? What is the basis for kicking a sector that remains in intensive care following the pandemic; a decision that can only lead to more people abandoning the train, choosing the car or doing more work from home? There are historic lessons here that every rail worker should heed and consider when reading the next RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers) diktat.

The similarities with Arthur Scargill’s disastrous year-long miner’s strike in 1984-5 and the railways today are clear. By the early 1980s the coal industry in Britain was overproducing by almost 20 per cent; its markets were shrinking and a deep recession had further reduced customer demand. As a result, tens of millions of tons of coal were piled up at power stations and pits kept producing coal they couldn’t sell, with huge taxpayer subsidy. Scargill wasn’t interested in helping deliver a viable sector where supply met demand and, instead, argued it was up to ministers to keep loss-making pits going.

The strike ultimately led to the collapse of the coal industry as customers looked at more reliable suppliers and alternative fuels. Between 1985 and 2015, 170 collieries closed and more than 170,000 miners lost their jobs.

The parallel for rail workers is important, as the sector is in its weakest state since the end of the Second World War – especially after Britain’s railways were hit by the pandemic. Boris Johnson’s order to work from home resulted in a 77 per cent drop in rail use which particularly decimated the once highly lucrative five-day peak home counties commuter market. The income from this alone covered a large slice of the railways’ cost base and limited the need for more taxpayer support.

More than £16 billion of taxpayers’ cash has since been spent to keep the network running, despite the numbers commuting at peak times on weekdays standing at just 20 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Another £4.5 billion has been handed to Transport for London to keep the Underground running, but the traditional flows of peak-time passengers aren’t returning to the capital and the knock-on is clear. This month’s strike will further hurt TfL» (Transport for London - about)’s perilous finances just as it unveils the new £18 billion Elizabeth Line.

The unions are ignoring the existential threat faced by the railways. Hybrid working means passengers have choices that didn’t exist before, and prolonged strikes will inevitably drive more away. But rather than working with planners to try to win passengers back, the unions look hell-bent on fatally undermining future growth, which can only mean fewer trains and jobs.

Rail and coal were once inter-reliant. Train workers should recall what happened to their one-time compatriots whose union prioritised a politically motivated strike over any real ambition to address a radically changing market where customers have new and cheaper choices.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2022, 09:23:23 am by TaplowGreen » Logged
broadgage
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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2022, 09:44:54 am »

ANOTHER comparison with the disastrous miners strike.
I cant see the railways being closed down to the extent that the coal mines were closed. But I do expect some cutbacks, and more calls for automation.
ATO (Automatic Train Operation), at least on the underground.
Fewer manned ticket offices.
More use of non union subcontractors for maintenance etc.
A slow down in reopening schemes "whilst we evaluate the impact of the pay award"
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
didcotdean
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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2022, 10:26:59 am »

It may start moving the conversation in areas that railway unions and those working in it would find uncomfortable. For example this letter from independent pensions expert John Ralfe in The Times today:
Quote
In quoting headline pay, unions ignore the annual value of the generous defined benefit pensions — deferred salary — and a huge part of overall pay for rail staff. Not only are rail pensions guaranteed they still have a retirement age of 60 and unlimited annual inflation increases. After a member's own contributions, the annual cost to rail companies — and ultimately taxpayers — is more than 50 per cent of salary. Meanwhile, even the most generous private sector defined contribution pensions have employer contributions of 15 per cent of salary, and most are much lower.

The answer to any pay squeeze for rail staff is simple: reduce the generosity of future pensions by closing the defined benefit scheme and moving to defined contributions, and then use some of the savings to increase pay.
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