Govia Thameslink Station staff have voted to strike

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gavin

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The RMT has announced that Govia Thameslink station staff have voted in favour of strike action

70% have voted for strike action whilst 80% voted for industrial action short of a strike

https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/gtr-station-staff-vote-to-strike160816/

RAIL UNION RMT today confirmed a 70% vote in favour of strike action in its ballot of members on Govia Thameslink Railways over a threat to jobs, pay and safety from the impact of ticket office closures and the reorganisation of the workforce.

In addition nearly 80 % voted in favour of industrial action short of a strike. The result will now be considered by the union executive.

GTR’s proposed reorganisation of station staff would see the creation of the new position of “Station Host”. ...
 
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JamesTT

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1000 balloted 407 votes cast only a 40% turnout. Is that sufficient turnout for any strike to be legal?
 

chris11256

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Here's an extract of the 2016 Trade Union act.

'in which at least 50% of those who were entitled to vote in the ballot did so.'

Plus 40% support in important public services.
 
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coppercapped

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A bit of research on the RMT's website gives the following:

Question: Are you prepared to take strike action?

Total Votes Cast 407
Number Voting ‘YES’ 283
Number Voting ‘NO’ 120
Spoilt Papers 4
 
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Wolfie

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Here's an extract of the 2016 Trade Union act.

'in which at least 50% of those who were entitled to vote in the ballot did so.'

Plus 40% support in important public services.

Which isn't in force yet...
 
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Phil.

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A bit of research on the RMT's website gives the following:

Question: Are you prepared to take strike action?

Total Votes Cast 407
Number Voting ‘YES’ 283
Number Voting ‘NO’ 120
Spoilt Papers 4

But what percentage of the workforce is 407? That's the bit the RMT won't publish.
 

Dave1987

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But what percentage of the workforce is 407? That's the bit the RMT won't publish.

I don't see that it matters really. The people that didn't vote chose not to do they have to accept the result of the ballot. Just like people who don't vote in a GE have no right to moan about the government.
 
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kieron

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I don't see that it matters really. The people that didn't vote chose not to do they have to accept the result of the ballot. Just like people who don't vote in a GE have no right to moan about the government.
Everyone has a right to moan about the government. For that matter, no-one has a right to know whether, or how, someone else voted (although you may happen to know whether someone was eligible at the time).

As the RMT have taken no public action beyond publishing the result, it's a bit early to criticise them for what they do with it. This may not be like some of the recent disputes. If this ballot was of ticket office staff (the press release doesn't say this, but the issued raised are to do with them, so I don't know), they're not as essential to the profitable running of the railway as some other grades.
 
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FordFocus

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RMT GTR guards strike
RMT GTR station staff strike
TSSA GTR station staff strike
ASLEF GTR currently been balloting for strike action.


3 seperate unions. One company. I'd place a lot of blame on the single company involved.. But let's not stop that getting in the way of a good old fashion union and staff bashing thread ;)
 

JamesTT

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What are people's opinions of the Station Host role the proposed introduction of this is what has led to the ballot
 

Mutant Lemming

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I think it's too late for the union - with Thameslink station staff rarer than snow leopards it's now more a job for the World Wildlife Fund.
 

FordFocus

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^ and that is where the railway is heading. DOO trains, no ticket offices, no station staff, no dispatch staff and maybe gateline staff during the morning if your lucky.

The ultimate vision is to have a signaller in a ROC 100 miles away, a driver of a 12 car DOO train and a man to fix the ticket machines when they breakdown.

TOCs occasionally employ a small handful of travel staff officers but really are security guards on a couple of quid more an hour that will clear off to the edge of the network out of the way.
 

bb21

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Please all stick to facts about this latest ballet and any genuine questions.

No union bashing, union backing, DOO, whatever else that can be used to beat the either side, etc.

Sorry. Sick of all the bickering.
 

AlterEgo

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What are people's opinions of the Station Host role the proposed introduction of this is what has led to the ballot

Sounds like a good idea in principle. This is the direction of travel for not only the railway but business in general.

Concerns about staff holding cash on the concourse are well-founded but do remember that commercial guards carry a lot of cash too, and have nowhere to hide on a moving train. Of course the railway should be pushing for a cashless environment as soon as is practicable, which will have benefits for everyone.

It doesn't really matter how many people voted for the strike action as long as t remains legal.
 

Mutant Lemming

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Really? I see several on a daily basis.

Farringdon 07:37 Monday
Borehamwood 19:07 Tuesday
Farringdon 07:41 Tuesday
West Hampstead 19:45 Wednesday
Mill Hill Broadway 22:18 Thursday

ZERO Thameslink staff

though still a draw as I saw no snow leopards either

Seems a bit of a waste of money installing barriers everywhere when they are left open at places like Farringdon at least up to the start of the morning rush hour.
 

Firestarter

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Farringdon 07:37 Monday
Borehamwood 19:07 Tuesday
Farringdon 07:41 Tuesda
y
West Hampstead 19:45 Wednesday
Mill Hill Broadway 22:18 Thursday

ZERO Thameslink staff

though still a draw as I saw no snow leopards either

Seems a bit of a waste of money installing barriers everywhere when they are left open at places like Farringdon at least up to the start of the morning rush hour.

Did you go back in time?
 

Dave1987

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Sounds like a good idea in principle. This is the direction of travel for not only the railway but business in general.

Concerns about staff holding cash on the concourse are well-founded but do remember that commercial guards carry a lot of cash too, and have nowhere to hide on a moving train. Of course the railway should be pushing for a cashless environment as soon as is practicable, which will have benefits for everyone.

It doesn't really matter how many people voted for the strike action as long as t remains legal.

What going against what passengers want? Lots and lots of people want to go to a ticket office and be served by an actual human, not a ticket machine. Of course what do you do but force through the changes in the belief that passengers will eventually just put up with never seeing any staff.
 

6Gman

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Everyone has a right to moan about the government. For that matter, no-one has a right to know whether, or how, someone else voted (although you may happen to know whether someone was eligible at the time).

As the RMT have taken no public action beyond publishing the result, it's a bit early to criticise them for what they do with it. This may not be like some of the recent disputes. If this ballot was of ticket office staff (the press release doesn't say this, but the issued raised are to do with them, so I don't know), they're not as essential to the profitable running of the railway as some other grades.

Actually, they do!
 

AlterEgo

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What going against what passengers want? Lots and lots of people want to go to a ticket office and be served by an actual human, not a ticket machine. Of course what do you do but force through the changes in the belief that passengers will eventually just put up with never seeing any staff.

How many tickets do you think Virgin sold over the counter at Euston station booking office, compared to those they sold at the ticket machines in the same office?

For the vast majority of passenger journeys the ticket isn't sold at a ticket office.

You can't pay by cheque in most shops these days but I don't hear people complaining about it.

I say this time and time again but if the fares system is so complex or scary or difficult to navigate that there is a definite need to have a ticket clerk explain it - you need to change the damn system...
 

gavin

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Strike confirmed for September 7th the same day as Southern Rail staff strike
 

Skimble19

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The impact of this will be reduced as RMT are striking before the TSSA ballot is back, meaning on some brands/areas such as GN there will still be plenty of station staff in, as well as all of those not in any union.. (a surprisingly large amount)

Obviously RMT are just trying to make the ongoing Southern Guards strike have a bit more of an impact so it makes sense for that, but it won't be a massive disruption elsewhere..
 
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Skimble19

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Perhaps more interesting than the rather typical RMT announcement is the official GTR response..

http://www.thameslinkrailway.com/about-us/news/gtr-responds-to-rmt-strike-by-station-staff/

GTR responds to RMT strike by station staff

Date: 25 Aug 2016

Responding to the RMT’s strike by station staff on 7 September, Alex Foulds, GTR’s Passenger Services Director, said:

“This is a cynical and deliberate stunt by the RMT to try and bring our trains to a standstill by co-ordinating strike action on two fronts on the same day to cause maximum disruption, delay and damage to our passengers’ everyday lives and the economy. The RMT leadership is playing politics with innocent people who are simply seeking to go about their business with employers, family and friends. It is a shameful and pitiful act and shows everyone their true colours and motivation, come what may and whoever they hurt.

“During face-to-face discussions with local union officials from the RMT and TSSA last Monday, we took our original proposals off the table, and agreed new proposals with them - a six months pilot at eight stations using volunteer staff to test the new Station Host role. It was a very productive meeting and the RMT officials present were content to put the revised pilot proposal forward to the RMT leadership for endorsement. We are therefore perplexed that they have decided to call this strike day in protest at proposals that no longer exist and when a solution had been found. The only conclusion is they are determined to strike even if there is no longer any justification.

“The Station Staff who voted in this ballot may now be asking, like us, why there is no mention of the revised pilot proposals in their statement today. They have ignored the will of their members, with only one in four voting for strike action and are now attempting to drag station staff out on strike over proposals which we have already withdrawn.

“These pilots would be manned by volunteers on a secondment basis and would allow concerns around personal safety and cash handling to be addressed. Staff would keep their jobs, get more money and many would work fewer hours.

“To call a strike over proposals that no longer exist is a stunning own goal by the RMT leadership.”

Ends

Editor’s notes
The RMT had already announced strike action by conductors on GTR’s Southern services, in Kent, Sussex and Surrey - on 7 & 8 September – over its plans to modernise and improve on-board services on Southern (there are no conductors on Great Northern and Thameslink services).

The RMT’s station staff strike applies to GTR’s entire franchise of Southern, Gatwick Express, Thameslink and Great Northern. Although our new proposals for our station modernisation programme would affect only eight stations where we would run a pilot of the new role of Station Host, and although these proposals would affect only ticket office and gateline staff, the RMT has called out on strike all its station members. This includes platform train dispatch staff without whom we cannot operate some services, where they are needed. We are now looking at what level of service it would be possible to provide should the station staff strike go ahead.
 

backontrack

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Please all stick to facts about this latest ballet and any genuine questions

I've got one: is it Swan Lake? :lol:

As for that GTR press release:

-GTR insists that the RMT is ignoring the will of its own members by going on a strike anyway. What they miss is that many more people voted 'for' than did 'against'. 70% of those concerned voted for the strike.

-They also say that the RMT is 'playing politics with innocent people'. Y'know, because TOCs don't do that.

People strike because they feel that there are problems at their workplace. These decisions affect people, but these are still the decisions of the majority. GTR would much rather there were no strikes and they could implement whatever they wanted to. But that's not how democracy works. And for democracy to function, we shouldn't be a barrier in ourselves.

A strike is a protest. It's a protest against bad decisions and agendas, which can affect many, many people. TOCs shouldn't go on moaning in horrendously stroppy press releases like these. They should start working for a better deal whereby as many people can be as happy as possible. They're obliged to, morally speaking, and it's about time that morals caused actions. Not bureaucracy, which is all over the shop, but voices should be heard. Actions should come from people; but they're not actions until the people are listened to and there's the right reaction to that. 'Actions' are meaningless until we put them into, well...action.

-For the first time in absolutely ages, the phrase 'we think this strike is completely unnecessary' is somehow absent from the press release. Perhaps that's due to sloppy editing; maybe they deleted the wrong thing.
 
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Robertj21a

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I've got one: is it Swan Lake? :lol:

As for that GTR press release:

-GTR insists that the RMT is ignoring the will of its own members by going on a strike anyway. What they miss is that many more people voted 'for' than did 'against'. 70% of those concerned voted for the strike.

-They also say that the RMT is 'playing politics with innocent people'. Y'know, because TOCs don't do that.

People strike because they feel that there are problems at their workplace. These decisions affect people, but these are still the decisions of the majority. GTR would much rather there were no strikes and they could implement whatever they wanted to. But that's not how democracy works. And for democracy to function, we shouldn't be a barrier in ourselves.

A strike is a protest. It's a protest against bad decisions and agendas, which can affect many, many people. TOCs shouldn't go on moaning in horrendously stroppy press releases like these. They should start working for a better deal whereby as many people can be as happy as possible. They're obliged to, morally speaking, and it's about time that morals caused actions. Not bureaucracy, which is all over the shop, but voices should be heard. Actions should come from people; but they're not actions until the people are listened to and there's the right reaction to that. 'Actions' are meaningless until we put them into, well...action.

-For the first time in absolutely ages, the phrase 'we think this strike is completely unnecessary' is somehow absent from the press release. Perhaps that's due to sloppy editing; maybe they deleted the wrong thing.


All very interesting I'm sure, but have you actually read what GTR said ?

After meeting with the unions, GTR withdrew their proposals and agreed to a 6 month pilot at 8 stations, using volunteers.

To me, that seems a very sensible way forward.
 

Blamethrower

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All very interesting I'm sure, but have you actually read what GTR said ?

After meeting with the unions, GTR withdrew their proposals and agreed to a 6 month pilot at 8 stations, using volunteers.

To me, that seems a very sensible way forward.

Yep, that's what I want at my the stations, people who are not paid to be there.

I'm right with RMT on this particular one.

Thing is this type of running down of the workforce is exactly what big business does to reduce costs and maximise profits. First off they bring in people who are prepared to work for less, then they bring in people who will work zero hours contracts, then people who will work for nothing (ie volunteers), bringing down the quality of service all the time. But hey we're British, just keep calm and carry on right? wrong.
 
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AlterEgo

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Yep, that's what I want at my the stations, people who are not paid to be there.

I'm right with RMT on this particular one.

Thing is this type of running down of the workforce is exactly what big business does to reduce costs and maximise profits. First off they bring in people who are prepared to work for less, then they bring in people who will work zero hours contracts, then people who will work for nothing (ie volunteers), bringing down the quality of service all the time. But hey we're British, just keep calm and carry on right? wrong.

The volunteers are on secondment. They're paid staff surely?
 
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backontrack

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Yep, that's what I want at my the stations, people who are not paid to be there.

I'm right with RMT on this particular one.

Thing is this type of running down of the workforce is exactly what big business does to reduce costs and maximise profits. First off they bring in people who are prepared to work for less, then they bring in people who will work zero hours contracts, then people who will work for nothing (ie volunteers), bringing down the quality of service all the time. But hey we're British, just keep calm and carry on right? wrong.
Well said.
 
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Robertj21a

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Yep, that's what I want at my the stations, people who are not paid to be there.

I'm right with RMT on this particular one.

Thing is this type of running down of the workforce is exactly what big business does to reduce costs and maximise profits. First off they bring in people who are prepared to work for less, then they bring in people who will work zero hours contracts, then people who will work for nothing (ie volunteers), bringing down the quality of service all the time. But hey we're British, just keep calm and carry on right? wrong.

What on earth are you going on about ?

They intend to use their usual PAID staff who VOLUNTEER to take part in the trial.
 
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