Is the RMT out of control?

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spangles

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Currently the RMT has industrial disputes and is planning/has taken/is planning to take industrial action across a growing number of TOCs including:
  • Scotrail conductors
  • VTEC on board staff
  • GTR conductors
  • GTR station staff
  • Eurostar

Are they spoiling for a fight too easily with no aim to compromise or is it just that a number of incidents have come to head at the same time by chance.

I'm inclined to think that when the whole world but you is wrong, perhaps it's you that's wrong.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
...or is this a co-ordinated effort to make it look as if privatisation has failed with an aim to bringing back British Rail.
 
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jopsuk

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they're neither out of control nor is it a campaign for nationalisation (although I think that it is a policy, despite privatisation having driven wages up across the rail industry)
 

DarloRich

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yes the evil dirty unionist trots are out to destablise the benign nay blessed Conservative government and subvert the democratic process in order to anoint the sainted Corbyn as supreme leader. How dare little people stand up for thier rights and seek to protect thier jobs. The cheek of these bloody oiks!

Any strike has to meet the harsh threshold set out under the recent TU bill. There can not be sympathy or supportive strikes, flying pickets are outlawed, picket lines must comply with legal requirements, you cant picket outside company buildings or directors homes and if there is even the slightest sniff of a chance of getting the ballot overturned the employer will be off to the high court with m'learned friends in double quick time to seek an injunction.

if they were out of control all of this would be happening along with direct action. I don't think it is!
 
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spangles

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For what's it's worth, I don't think there is a co-ordinated attempt to bring down privatisation (at this point).

I do however think that if they are fighting everyone at the same time, something has gone wrong with the process or the strategy.
 

trainmania100

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Just read on Metreo that Eurostar are taking 7 DAYS strike...more than southern!
I feel it is getting reduculous
 

Polarbear

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I doubt the RMT's actions are coordinated, it will be pure chance that the separate actions have come to a head at around the same time, albeit they seem to revolve around similar issues.

That said, we do seem to be heading toward more industrial unrest on the railways, with TOC's backed by the Dft seemingly standing firm in the face of resistance from one of the main unions.

Very simplistically, we have TOC's being pushed into cost savings by the Dft when franchises are signed up to, and a union doing it's best to maintain the status quo for it's membership. The largest cost for any TOC is staffing, so it's fairly obvious that the two sides will clash when things are due to change.
 

embers25

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yes the evil dirty unionist trots are out to destablise the benign nay blessed Conservative government and subvert the democratic process in order to anoint the sainted Corbyn as supreme leader. How dare little people stand up for thier rights and seek to protect thier jobs. The cheek of these bloody oiks!

Any strike has to meet the harsh threshold set out under the recent TU bill. There can not be sympathy or supportive strikes, flying pickets are outlawed, picket lines must comply with legal requirements, you cant picket outside company buildings or directors homes and if there is even the slightest sniff of a chance of getting the ballot overturned the employer will be off to the high court with m'learned friends in double quick time to seek an injunction.

if they were out of control all of this would be happening along with direct action. I don't think it is!

Seriously DarloRich. Every time someone questions union actions on here pro-unionists spout the "there are strict laws" rubbish. Union laws may be stricter than they were but they are still full of holes as we are seeing now. Sympathy strikes may be outlawed but there are ways around that and the unions know it. Just look at Southern and the tactics being employed there by the RMT. They know right now their very existence is at stake after GTR stood up to them and so they have to fight back and they figure with all the support Corbyn has that the public is ready for national strikes again. Not only is this a snapshot of how life would be under Corbyn but also right now the RMT are looking for any reason possible to strike on all TOC's. Where are the stats to show driver only is more dangerous?...Oh wait there aren't any. One of the reasons rail workers are paid so well because the work life balance isn't great but to the RMT it's a perfect cause to strike nationwide if all else fails. This is beyond a joke and the sooner strikes are banned and unions outlawed the better. I realise posting anti-union comment on here is frowned upon but yet it is totally fine for unionists to post their side. This is Railforums not RMTForums.
 

DarloRich

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Seriously DarloRich. Every time someone questions union actions on here pro-unionists spout the "there are strict laws" rubbish. Union laws may be stricter than they were but they are still full of holes as we are seeing now. Sympathy strikes may be outlawed but there are ways around that and the unions know it. Just look at Southern and the tactics being employed there by the RMT. They know right now their very existence is at stake after GTR stood up to them and so they have to fight back and they figure with all the support Corbyn has that the public is ready for national strikes again. Not only is this a snapshot of how life would be under Corbyn but also right now the RMT are looking for any reason possible to strike on all TOC's. Where are the stats to show driver only is more dangerous?...Oh wait there aren't any. One of the reasons rail workers are paid so well because the work life balance isn't great but to the RMT it's a perfect cause to strike nationwide if all else fails. This is beyond a joke and the sooner strikes are banned and unions outlawed the better. I realise posting anti-union comment on here is frowned upon but yet it is totally fine for unionists to post their side. This is Railforums not RMTForums.

ok - take a breath there! I will put aside your obvious hatred of the awful unions standing up for thier members ( perhaps you feel that because you get screwed everyone should get screwed?) and your clear inability to grasp a concept and try and respond to your diatribe.

  • The question asked was is the RMT out of control. My point, that you seem unable to grasp, is that the law controls union action very closely. In order to strike you must meet high thresholds. If the union were out of control they would ignore those rules and do what they like. I haven't seen notice of any secondary picketing or the Durham miners arriving to bolster the picket line in Brighton!
  • I am a union member but not a member of RMT.
  • The thresholds the Tories seek to impose on union members taking part in a vote are not ones they seem prepared to comply with themselves. I simply point out the hypocrisy that the PM can be elected on numbers and turnout that wouldn't allow for strike action!
  • I am a Labour member but didn't vote for Corbyn last time and wont vote for him this time. He is an unelectable clown.
  • Where is this national strike you speak of? When will the ballot be held? On what grounds? Those pesky laws discussed above define how that can happen. Perhaps you don't understand them?
 

gavin

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So the Eurostar strike starts this Friday??? I thought 7 days notice was required?

0.01am on Friday 12th August until 11.59pm on Monday 14th August

And three days from 27th August
 

JohnB57

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How dare little people stand up for thier rights and seek to protect thier jobs. The cheek of these bloody oiks!
Cards on the table. I'm a left leaning socialist and I sympathise with Corbyn's views, if not his leadership.

However, to describe rail workers as "little people" is a joke. They already enjoy reasonable (or even excellent) conditions and benefits. More saliently however, they also hold a lot of power and that's why strike action is viable.

True "little people" - shop workers, security staff, care workers, etc - have no such disruptive power and in truth couldn't even afford to resort to strike action, even if that would be effective as a bargaining tool. Those are the groups the labour party and the unions should be fighting for.
 

SteveP29

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Seriously DarloRich. Every time someone questions union actions on here pro-unionists spout the "there are strict laws" rubbish. Union laws may be stricter than they were but they are still full of holes as we are seeing now. Sympathy strikes may be outlawed but there are ways around that and the unions know it. Just look at Southern and the tactics being employed there by the RMT. They know right now their very existence is at stake after GTR stood up to them and so they have to fight back and they figure with all the support Corbyn has that the public is ready for national strikes again. Not only is this a snapshot of how life would be under Corbyn but also right now the RMT are looking for any reason possible to strike on all TOC's. Where are the stats to show driver only is more dangerous?...Oh wait there aren't any. One of the reasons rail workers are paid so well because the work life balance isn't great but to the RMT it's a perfect cause to strike nationwide if all else fails. This is beyond a joke and the sooner strikes are banned and unions outlawed the better. I realise posting anti-union comment on here is frowned upon but yet it is totally fine for unionists to post their side. This is Railforums not RMTForums.

Am I right in thinking that you've refused every benefit ever given to you (via your employer) by unions?
I hope you enjoy that 4 hours a week you are allowed to rest, I hope you didn't miss seeing your children grow up too much because you were busy working, I suppose you enjoy bowing and doffing your cap and never looking your employer in the eye because you're just grateful to have a job.
 

DarloRich

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Cards on the table. I'm a left leaning socialist and I sympathise with Corbyn's views, if not his leadership.

However, to describe rail workers as "little people" is a joke. They already enjoy reasonable (or even excellent) conditions and benefits. More saliently however, they also hold a lot of power and that's why strike action is viable.

True "little people" - shop workers, security staff, care workers, etc - have no such disruptive power and in truth couldn't even afford to resort to strike action, even if that would be effective as a bargaining tool. Those are the groups the labour party and the unions should be fighting for.

agreed - I was speaking generally - although to many Conservative politicians I suspect anyone below them are little people! Even those people you suggest benefit from union support in relation to protection from unfair practices, disciplinary actions, health matters etc

As an aside i have no real issue with the policies suggested by Mr. Corbyn - I simply feel he will never put himself in a position to enact them.
 

Mordac

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yes the evil dirty unionist trots are out to destablise the benign nay blessed Conservative government and subvert the democratic process in order to anoint the sainted Corbyn as supreme leader. How dare little people stand up for thier rights and seek to protect thier jobs. The cheek of these bloody oiks!

Any strike has to meet the harsh threshold set out under the recent TU bill. There can not be sympathy or supportive strikes, flying pickets are outlawed, picket lines must comply with legal requirements, you cant picket outside company buildings or directors homes and if there is even the slightest sniff of a chance of getting the ballot overturned the employer will be off to the high court with m'learned friends in double quick time to seek an injunction.

if they were out of control all of this would be happening along with direct action. I don't think it is!

The Trade Unions Act 2016 hasn't been commenced yet.
 

XDM

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Is RMT out of control?
No it's just the drawn out death throws of a fatally wounded senile dinosaur.
 

DarloRich

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Is RMT out of control?
No it's just the drawn out death throws of a fatally wounded senile dinosaur.

In that case what happens once the beast passes away? How for instance are the pastoral support duties of the local rep continued? Those are the services most used by members, despite what the media might suggest.
 
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HH

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Mick Cash and co. are determined to show they're as tough as Bob; unfortunately they only have Plan A, which gets put into play no matter whether the TOC is playing hardball or actually attempting to find a solution.

Having played the strike card it's hard to escalate things further, something Bob clearly understood.
 
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HH I agree with you as RMT seem to not to know how to operate as a proper Union. Or that's how it is coming across.
 

Fincra5

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I don;t see how they'd be "out of control". Whilst they maybe aren't getting the best press you might as well go ahead with planned ballots.

Maybe TOC's have taken advantage of industrial relations being "ok" over the last few years. Who knows.
 

NSEFAN

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HH said:
Mick Cash and co. are determined to show they're as tough as Bob; unfortunately they only have Plan A, which gets put into play no matter whether the TOC is playing hardball or actually attempting to find a solution.

Having played the strike card it's hard to escalate things further, something Bob clearly understood.
I used to think that Bob was all about talking the talk, trotting out politically-charged soundbites. It seems in hindsight however that he was much better at getting deals struck and preventing disputes from dragging out this long, as the current situation clearly helps nobody and does no good for the long-term prospects of the rail industry. It goes to show that there's always more to an industrial dispute than what you read in the press!
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Perhaps the advent of that shining star of the Labour Party's new guise, Jeremy Corbyn, as the acceptable face of hard-left leaning cohorts and the militancy now in full flow led by those stalwarts of a trades union who do not feel that the Labour Party of post-Corbyn days does indeed hark back to a stage of the days of Militant Tendency, but with the main players this time actually in a position of power (something that Derek Hatton never achieved) are all under the same cloak of a co-ordinated movement to achieve their socialist aims.

Of course, there will be the usual bleats of "the RMT are not part of the Labour Party" so one must ask why not. Was not the Labour Party established as a standard to which all trades unions could flock in terms of solidarity? Yet the RMT see themselves outside this ideal and one must ask "why" ?

Anyone looking at the situation in the country at this point of time can only imagine what socialist conspiracy is at play and who it is who is the "hidden face" of those who are instrumental in bringing this to being.

There are numerous working people in the South East who rely on the trains to transport them to and from their places of work and this current five-day strike is one where the true position of the RMT comes to the fore in totally ignoring the pressures that these commuters face in their own working life. I will never tire of reminding everyone on this website how a certain person on here showed his true colours and actually described passengers as "collateral damage"....which says it all, as far as I am concerned.

I am one who is not afraid to challenge this vision of socialist utopia and of all those concerned in attempting to achieve it by as many different methods as possible, that certain people on this website try to hide by giving it rather nice sounding humanitarian face.
 

LeeLivery

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No I don't think they're out of control (yet). I would suggest that there is a direct correlation between Tory governments and poor industrial relations.

I'd go a little further and say Southern, well GTR and other operators may feel like they can get away with a little more because the Tory government will back them no matter what. From banning overtime to the ban on switching shifts and telling very misleading info like this strike action is stopping new "state of the art" trains from being introduced. This is clearly nonsense as the 387s have guard panels and the 700s aren't Southern or Gat X - technically. Anyway, in Scotland, a deal with ScotRail was reached, I suspect the SNP and the RMT didn't want this GTR style war.
 
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DarloRich

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Perhaps the advent of that shining star of the Labour Party's new guise, Jeremy Corbyn, as the acceptable face of hard-left leaning cohorts and the militancy now in full flow led by those stalwarts of a trades union who do not feel that the Labour Party of post-Corbyn days does indeed hark back to a stage of the days of Militant Tendency, but with the main players this time actually in a position of power (something that Derek Hatton never achieved) are all under the same cloak of a co-ordinated movement to achieve their socialist aims.

Of course, there will be the usual bleats of "the RMT are not part of the Labour Party" so one must ask why not. Was not the Labour Party established as a standard to which all trades unions could flock in terms of solidarity? Yet the RMT see themselves outside this ideal and one must ask "why" ?

Anyone looking at the situation in the country at this point of time can only imagine what socialist conspiracy is at play and who it is who is the "hidden face" of those who are instrumental in bringing this to being.

There are numerous working people in the South East who rely on the trains to transport them to and from their places of work and this current five-day strike is one where the true position of the RMT comes to the fore in totally ignoring the pressures that these commuters face in their own working life. I will never tire of reminding everyone on this website how a certain person on here showed his true colours and actually described passengers as "collateral damage"....which says it all, as far as I am concerned.

I am one who is not afraid to challenge this vision of socialist utopia and of all those concerned in attempting to achieve it by as many different methods as possible, that certain people on this website try to hide by giving it rather nice sounding humanitarian face.

So, taking aside your voluminous phraseology, you clearly consider striking to be unconscionable. How, therefore, should people protest about something they think is unfair in the work place?


As for this comment:
Anyone looking at the situation in the country at this point of time can only imagine what socialist conspiracy is at play and who it is who is the "hidden face" of those who are instrumental in bringing this to being.
i will simply say::roll: You seem to sense some kind of evil, yet indeterminate, conspiracy at every turn!
 
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Tetchytyke

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They know right now their very existence is at stake after GTR stood up to them

GTR "stood up to them". How? By sacking them all?

The RMT don't manufacture disputes out of thin air. The disputes are all about the same thing- the removal or significant watering-down of the guard's grade.

It's definitely co-ordinated. But this co-ordination is coming out of Horseferry Road and not the RMT. Peter Wilkinson said he was out for blood and people dismissed it as gaffe. It wasn't- he meant it, and this is the result.

It is a co-ordinated attack against the RMT, not by the RMT.

Interestingly a compromise was reached in Scotland- twice- about DOO and guard duties. Scotrail isn't controlled by Horseferry Road. Funny that.

HH said:
Mick Cash and co. are determined to show they're as tough as Bob; unfortunately they only have Plan A, which gets put into play no matter whether the TOC is playing hardball or actually attempting to find a solution.

I see precious little evidence of the TOCs involved in recent disputes "attempting to find a solution". Certainly not at GTR, whose attempts at conciliation were to withdraw staff parking permits and tell everyone who was on strike that they wouldn't be considered for the new job if they didn't get back to work like good little boys and girls.

The RMT are in a position now where they either go on strike about the changes or they bend over, lube up and spread those cheeks. We know what the Tories would prefer them to do...

As I've said on other threads, it takes two sides to have a dispute.
 
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spangles

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You say that, but didn't GTR offer to guarantee the new roles into the new franchise (should they win it), they agreed to roster OBS onto all services that currently have a conductor, they agreed no compulsory redundancy or wage cut, agreed guaranteed overtime. This seems to me like a lot of assurances and certainly concessions from their starting position.

The RMT on the other hand have offered very little by way of a compromise. They keep pointing to scotrail, but that's irrelevant. Union members always tell us it's unfair to compare drivers salaries to other industries as they only fight for their own rights. By the same token they shouldn't then automatically demand something just because someone else has it.
 
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