EMT strike (regional routes) - Sat 20 & 27 Jul, 3 Aug

ForTheLoveOf

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I've had a look and not seen a thread elsewhere about this.

Seems that EMT Senior Conductors (on the regional routes) are going on strike on the Saturdays 20th & 27th of July and then the following 3rd of August. This is in relation to a dispute over "discrimination and contract issues", elaborated slightly by Mick Cash as relating to "concerns over contractual issues such as compulsory Sunday working, wage discrimination and other issues". Perhaps someone in the know can give us the full details on what the dispute is over.

I fear that the strike timetables will be just as restrictive and awful as the ones which Northern saw during their prolonged strike. I'm also slightly surprised that the RMT are seeing off a franchise with a strike - surely they would accept that they're unlikely to get anywhere with EMT and wait the couple of months until EMR are here before attempting to solve the issue then?

Source (The Lincolnite):
East Midlands Trains is finalising plans for timetables to cope with RMT’s industrial action over pay discrimination and contract issues this summer.

RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) members working as Senior Conductors on East Midlands Trains, which serves Lincoln and other areas of the county, will be taking strike action at the end of July and the beginning of August.

A timetable will be published over the next few days, including any impact on Lincoln services – keep an eye online here for updates and information.

RMT said the dispute is over East Midlands’ trains failure to bring a meaningful resolution to its members’ concerns over discrimination and contract issues.

The union believes the only way to get management to seriously address the concerns is to take industrial action. Members have been instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between 12.01am and 11.59pm on Saturday, July 20 and 27 and Saturday, August 3.

East Midlands Trains said it is still aiming to run a good service on these days. It said services to and from London are not impacted by the action at all and will run to the planned timetable.

However, the strike action will affect senior conductors working on the train operators’ local routes. East Midlands Trains is confident it will still be able to run a good timetable for customers on its local routes.

Adam Piddington, Customer Experience Director for East Midlands Trains, said: “We’re really shocked that the RMT is planning this action.

“The fact is that these same contracts have been in place for six years, and were introduced in full agreement with the RMT, so it’s puzzling as to why these issues have now been raised.

“Our customers expect us to run reliable train services seven days a week, including Sundays, and of course the contracts we have in place with our employees reflect that.

“However we are always happy to listen to feedback from our employees on their contractual terms and conditions.

“We are now working on our timetable plans for the affected days but are confident that we will be able to run a good service for our customers.”

Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said: “East Midlands Trains lack of commitment to deal with our concerns over contractual issues such as compulsory Sunday working, wage discrimination and other issues is a total disgrace.

“As a result RMT, following a strong mandate, and after listening to our representatives, has been left with no alternative but to take strike action in order to make the company take the issues seriously.

“The union remains available for talks but no one should underestimate the resilience and ‎determination of our EMT members to see justice.”
 
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bb21

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Staff contracts will be TUPE'd over when the new franchisee takes over so if there are concerns about an issue now or forthcoming changes within the lifespan of the current franchise they need to be addressed now.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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Staff contracts will be TUPE'd over when the new franchisee takes over so if there are concerns about an issue now or forthcoming changes within the lifespan of the current franchise they need to be addressed now.
Yes, but I would have thought that EMT would have little interest in resolving the matter now, seeing as they are able to (effectively) palm off the issue to EMR with their franchise starting less than three weeks after the last strike, on 18th August.

I'm also more than bit surprised that EMT would, it appears from their and the RMT's statement, introduce Sunday-in right towards the tail end of their franchise. Something just doesn't quite add up to me.
 

bunnahabhain

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Staff contracts will be TUPE'd over when the new franchisee takes over so if there are concerns about an issue now or forthcoming changes within the lifespan of the current franchise they need to be addressed now.
This is what I've been told too. If you don't challenge it, once you get TUPE'd over it can be difficult to resolve.
 

bb21

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Yes, but I would have thought that EMT would have little interest in resolving the matter now, seeing as they are able to (effectively) palm off the issue to EMR with their franchise starting less than three weeks after the last strike, on 18th August.

I'm also more than bit surprised that EMT would, it appears from their and the RMT's statement, introduce Sunday-in right towards the tail end of their franchise. Something just doesn't quite add up to me.
It doesn't really matter what interest EMT have. If RMT did nothing and waited until EMR took over, while EMT implemented the changes, it will be way too late for RMT to then act.

Even getting EMT to postpone the changes would be a positive outcome if nothing else can be agreed. I don't know the exact details of the dispute but from what is public, doing nothing is not an option for RMT.
 

Facing Back

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If the contracts are 6 years old, are EMT actually changing anything - enforcing terms they haven't before? Or are the RMT raising the ante on provisions in those contracts that they have never liked?
 

ForTheLoveOf

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It doesn't really matter what interest EMT have. If RMT did nothing and waited until EMR took over, while EMT implemented the changes, it will be way too late for RMT to then act.

Even getting EMT to postpone the changes would be a positive outcome if nothing else can be agreed. I don't know the exact details of the dispute but from what is public, doing nothing is not an option for RMT.
Ah, so the first mystery is solved then. There remains the second question of why EMT have chosen now as the perfect moment to instigate changes leading to a full-scale industrial dispute!
 

bb21

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If the contracts are 6 years old, are EMT actually changing anything - enforcing terms they haven't before? Or are the RMT raising the ante on provisions in those contracts that they have never liked?
Are they not? I may have misunderstood.

In any case, that aside even, with existing concerns, if they don't raise the issue now, with a new company it can be much more difficult. I don't know what has been said and discussed already regarding these issues, but I wouldn't take what the company say as gospel. There is usually more to it and the finer details will only be known to a small number of people.
 

bunnahabhain

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There's a lot of smallprint and the full picture isn't really out there. Nobody ever really wants to withdraw their labour, it's usually the last resort people can utilise when all else has failed.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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There's a lot of smallprint and the full picture isn't really out there. Nobody ever really wants to withdraw their labour, it's usually the last resort people can utilise when all else has failed.
Well, having heard no suggestion or warning of a dispute before, it seems to be a little sudden, but of course the inner workings of such negotiations are rarely public.
 

Facing Back

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Are they not? I may have misunderstood.

In any case, that aside even, with existing concerns, if they don't raise the issue now, with a new company it can be much more difficult. I don't know what has been said and discussed already regarding these issues, but I wouldn't take what the company say as gospel. There is usually more to it and the finer details will only be known to a small number of people.
I agree the level of urgency of a high profile dispute which is ongoing when the new company takes over dilutes the "give us a couple of years to get our feet under the table argument" and I'm not taking either side as gospel - as there are no real facts here to examine.

I'm merely curious. My experience at industrial relations is all outside of this industry and to go from silence to strike appears a little odd. I understand that the great majority of staff will simply want to get on with their job in a safe and sensible manner but I must admit to being slightly cynical whether that's 100% true at the senior levels of the RMT and the DfT. I'm not sure about the ToCs as they are by design short lived entities but I've heard nothing about issues with industrial relations with EMT and RMT - but as you say much of that could have been going on behind closed doors for years!
 

LowLevel

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There have been a number of disagreements under discussion for quite a while and the RMT have hit a brick wall with EMT. There are a ridiculous number of contract variations due to HR 'issues' which doesn't help matters.

The strength of the ballot (80% turnout, 69% in favour of strike, 86% in favour of work to rule) should demonstrate quite well the irritation of the guards.

We have to be careful what we say unfortunately but it's not something that is being taken lightly and the current situation needs resolving.
 

Helvellyn

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This feels more like putting a marker down for Abellio. I am not sure what options are even open to Stagecoach to agree anything with the RMT because I understood that TOCs were limited in what they can do in the last twelve months of a franchise to avoid committing potential successors to liabilities they weren't expecting.
 

bunnahabhain

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https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/rmt-slams-east-midlands-train-bosses/

Relevant quote to promote discussion as requested by "Moderating Team" person.


"Rail union RMT today slammed East Midlands Trains bosses for sabotaging planned talks over strike action by Senior Conductors, action which is due to start next week, as they are all apparently on holiday until after the action starts.

RMT had made the entirely normal request for talks to explore a possible solution in advance of the action only to be told that no one from the company management side was available until at least five days after it is due to start."
 
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Rhydgaled

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Blast; I was planning a holiday based in Nottingham around the 20th. Any chance the timetable will remain intact or should I call off the holiday?
 

londonmidland

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Blast; I was planning a holiday based in Nottingham around the 20th. Any chance the timetable will remain intact or should I call off the holiday?
Depends where you’re coming from, as it’s only the regional services which will be affected, not the Mainline ones as far as I’m aware?
 

Rhydgaled

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Depends where you’re coming from, as it’s only the regional services which will be affected, not the Mainline ones as far as I’m aware?
On the Saturday I was planning to do Nottingham - Skegness as it's a line I've never been on and I wanted to do it on a HST. I suppose being a HST it might not count as a 'regional service' but if the sprinters that ply the route are all cancelled I imagine even the HST could be standing room only.
 

Qwerty133

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On the Saturday I was planning to do Nottingham - Skegness as it's a line I've never been on and I wanted to do it on a HST. I suppose being a HST it might not count as a 'regional service' but if the sprinters that ply the route are all cancelled I imagine even the HST could be standing room only.
The HST to Skegness is likely to be one of the first things to go due to the small number of SCs cleared on the HST.
 

Rhydgaled

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The HST to Skegness is likely to be one of the first things to go due to the small number of SCs cleared on the HST.
Thanks for letting me know, I'll just have to cross my fingers that I'll get to do Skegness on a HST another time.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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They don't sign the route.
I suppose if it were a high profile service (like the Norwich in 90 or something) they could theoretically roster one member of staff who signs the traction and another who signs the route. But I doubt that will happen when it's going to cost them far more in direct costs and opportunity costs vs. just cancelling it.
 

bunnahabhain

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I suppose if it were a high profile service (like the Norwich in 90 or something) they could theoretically roster one member of staff who signs the traction and another who signs the route. But I doubt that will happen when it's going to cost them far more in direct costs and opportunity costs vs. just cancelling it.
Incredibly unlikely as those who sign the route are striking, and I doubt any TMs would be willing to do so.
 

Class 170101

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So it will make linking to the MML interesting from Grantham / Newark to Nottingham (for St Pancras vice Kings Cross) on Bank Holiday Saturday then.
 

Steph_acc

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Does anyone know which routes are considered regional for the purpose of these strikes please? Everything other than London services? Will Liverpool - Nottingham -Norwich be affected?
 

ForTheLoveOf

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Does anyone know which routes are considered regional for the purpose of these strikes please? Everything other than London services? Will Liverpool - Nottingham -Norwich be affected?
Everything which is former Central Trains, so yes, almost everything except London services. Liverpool-Norwich will definitely be one of the affected routes.
 

cactustwirly

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Does anyone know which routes are considered regional for the purpose of these strikes please? Everything other than London services? Will Liverpool - Nottingham -Norwich be affected?
Everything that isn't a London service (operated by 222s or HSTs)
 

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