Rail strikes discussion thread

Status
Not open for further replies.

Bertie the bus

Established Member
Joined
15 Aug 2014
Messages
2,123
I'm pleased it's not just me who found this. I wondered how much of it was my own bias, given I am a union member, however I have really enjoyed watching him dealing with MPs talking nonsense.
Industrial disputes aren’t really spectator sports though, whose purpose is to entertain the masses. The winner isn’t the one who gets the most followers on Twitter but who achieves their objectives and the RMT don’t appear to be any closer to achieving their objectives than a week ago.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

HL7

Member
Joined
19 Jun 2022
Messages
44
Location
Amsterdam Netherlands
For those wanting strikes sooner than late July, can RMT members actually AFFORD to strike again so soon after 3 days lost pay? August makes more sense id say.

Aren’t most employees on rolling rest days, ie, mon/tues, wed/thur, fri/sat? If so then most would only have lost 2 days pay as they’d have been rest day on 1of the strike days.
 

shakey1961

Member
Joined
21 Dec 2014
Messages
154
I hope this doesn't get buried as I'd like a reply. A YouTube guy is coming over here for his first visit from the USA and Id hate his trip to b spoiled by the strikes. Is there a website that will give information about when the strikes are going to take place so he can plan his journeys and use his BritRail pass most effectively? He says he's coming over here in about 3 weeks.
 
Joined
18 Aug 2019
Messages
1,150
Location
London
I hope this doesn't get buried as I'd like a reply. A YouTube guy is coming over here for his first visit from the USA and Id hate his trip to b spoiled by the strikes. Is there a website that will give information about when the strikes are going to take place so he can plan his journeys and use his BritRail pass most effectively? He says he's coming over here in about 3 weeks.
Currently there are no more strikes planned after the one today. That doesn't mean more won't happen, but they have to give two weeks notice when announcing a rail strike. So if there are no more strikes announced in the next week, your friend depending on how long he is staying for should be alright.
 

pt_mad

Established Member
Joined
26 Sep 2011
Messages
2,838
Industrial disputes aren’t really spectator sports though, whose purpose is to entertain the masses. The winner isn’t the one who gets the most followers on Twitter but who achieves their objectives and the RMT don’t appear to be any closer to achieving their objectives than a week ago.

Scott1 might be onto something though if the public end up having the final sway on this.

When all is said and done, it's likely the government are not going to change their mind away from what they want. They believe they are right. The union's are not likely to change their minds away from what they believe to be right.

The consequences of both sides clashing is either prolonged strikes, or fire and rehire (causing deeper strikes), or both. This is what happens without proper negotiation which the RMT say is being held up by the government refusing to talk directly.

The consequences of this government bringing in a stealth fire and rehire scheme in today's climate may massively backfire against them politically. People did not look kindly on what PandO did. Nevermind an actual government doing it. The public sector don't seem to be happy as it is.

Inveitably, whether the public like to say it or not, most people must realise that the union is not there to appease solely the desires of wider society but mainly the needs of their members. They answer to their members. They are taking questions at the moment more widely in an effort to get their case heard. Otherwise all coverage would be focused on the government side.

However, the government does answer directly to the people. As has been said earlier, there is only so long the government can continue saying they have no part to play in this dispute. Anyone who knows anything about it knows that the government are the ones who desire these changes to the industry. The media began making this point last week and the public deep down will know that it's the government who will need to answer to the wider public and not the unions.

If this does go on for a prolonged period, I just can't see it being reasonable for the govt to continue refusing to take part and telling the public as the PM did that the public need to be prepared for this for the duration. That may be something the public expect from the union leader on behalf of the interests of its members (and the public have no way of holding that union leader directly to account, unlike politicians), but they don't expect it from a government leader who has the clout to come to some negotiated agreement if they desire.
 
Last edited:

Wyrleybart

Member
Joined
29 Mar 2020
Messages
903
Location
South Staffordshire
Aren’t most employees on rolling rest days, ie, mon/tues, wed/thur, fri/sat? If so then most would only have lost 2 days pay as they’d have been rest day on 1of the strike days.
Some are some aren't. There are at least a link of each at most of our depots. They call them four day and five day links, the latter being the week of resat days every five weeks type links.
 

shakey1961

Member
Joined
21 Dec 2014
Messages
154
Currently there are no more strikes planned after the one today. That doesn't mean more won't happen, but they have to give two weeks notice when announcing a rail strike. So if there are no more strikes announced in the next week, your friend depending on how long he is staying for should be alright.
Thank You
 

dk1

Veteran Member
Joined
2 Oct 2009
Messages
12,122
Location
East Anglia
Currently there are no more strikes planned after the one today. That doesn't mean more won't happen, but they have to give two weeks notice when announcing a rail strike. So if there are no more strikes announced in the next week, your friend depending on how long he is staying for should be alright.
Greater Anglia have a strike next Saturday the 2nd.
 

pt_mad

Established Member
Joined
26 Sep 2011
Messages
2,838
Can someone with the relevent knowledge please shed some light on this:

IF the RMT did happen to secure a no compulsary redundancy guarantee, what happens if staff are presented with new employment contracts for a newly created role and refuse to sign?

Would a no compulsary redundancy guarantee then stop them being made redundant for refusing to sign new terms and conditions and they would continue on their existing terms in their current role?
 

Goldfish62

Established Member
Joined
14 Feb 2010
Messages
7,355
Can someone with the relevent knowledge please shed some light on this:

IF the RMT did happen to secure a no compulsary redundancy guarantee, what happens if staff are presented with new employment contracts for a newly created role and refuse to sign?

Would a no compulsary redundancy guarantee then stop them being made redundant for refusing to sign new terms and conditions and they would continue on their existing terms in their current role?
They would have made themselves redundant. That was the situation guards were faced with at Southern.
 

pt_mad

Established Member
Joined
26 Sep 2011
Messages
2,838
They would have made themselves redundant. That was the situation guards were faced with at Southern.
But was there a no compulsary redundancy guarantee during that dispute?

If someone is made redundant because they refuse to sign a new contract which differs from their existing job, is that not a compulsary redundancy?
 

Wyrleybart

Member
Joined
29 Mar 2020
Messages
903
Location
South Staffordshire
Driver Managers are not allowed to drive trains on strike days. That's an agreement ASLEF actually have in my neck of the woods
Likewise on the TOC I work for. A company driver has to be in the cab of every single company train movement, irrespective of whether they sign route and traction.
Driver Managers can however work as "guards".
 

CFRAIL

Member
Joined
17 May 2019
Messages
121
That's very naive. About 90% of the country never use trains, so any impact on the government will always be minimal. Boris could well gain votes from many of the public fed up with unions.
The number of Google searches for "joining a union" have gone through the roof so I'm not sure the public are fed up with unions. Or certainly not all of them anyway.
 

pt_mad

Established Member
Joined
26 Sep 2011
Messages
2,838
That's very naive. About 90% of the country never use trains, so any impact on the government will always be minimal. Boris could well gain votes from many of the public fed up with unions.
Well that arguement would go directly against anyone who says the dispute will end because the Unions lose support from people who are fed up with the loss of rail service.
 
Last edited:

Goldfish62

Established Member
Joined
14 Feb 2010
Messages
7,355
But was there a no compulsary redundancy guarantee during that dispute?

If someone is made redundant because they refuse to sign a new contract which differs from their existing job, is that not a compulsary redundancy?
It's a bit of a legal minefield.

Have a read of this :


Making a change without agreement
If an employer makes a change to a contract without getting agreement (including by using flexibility clauses unreasonably), employees may:

have the right to refuse to work under the new conditions
say that they’re working any new terms under protest, and are treating the change as a breach of contract
resign and claim constructive dismissal
be able to take a case to an employment tribunal
In Northern Ireland an employment tribunal is known as an ‘industrial tribunal’.

If an employee disagrees with new terms and conditions but does not say or do anything, this may count as agreeing to the changes.

Re-employment on new terms and conditions
Employers may, as a last resort, end a contract and re-employ someone on new terms and conditions.

Employers who are dismissing employees must follow the legally required:

redundancy procedure in England, Wales and Scotland
statutory minimum dismissal in Northern Ireland
If an employer does dismiss and re-employ someone, they may be able to take a case to a tribunal and claim:

breach of contract
unfair dismissal
Breach of contract claims
If an employee claims breach of contract and they cannot solve things informally with their employer, they may be able to take their case to a civil court or an employment tribunal (or an industrial tribunal in Northern Ireland).

Their employer may be able to make a counter-claim.

Claims and counter-claims can only go to a tribunal if they:

are related to an employment contract issue
still have not been solved when the employee ends their employment
The claim or counter-claim cannot be related to a personal injury, or certain types of contract term like intellectual property rights.
 

matt_world2004

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2014
Messages
3,863
What if your hospital does not have sufficient facilities to change?
If you are required to wear a uniform for your job it is illegal not to provide changing and uniform storage facilities under the workplace (Health safety and welfare regulations 1992)
 

dk1

Veteran Member
Joined
2 Oct 2009
Messages
12,122
Location
East Anglia
If you are required to wear a uniform for your job it is illegal not to provide changing and uniform storage facilities under the workplace (Health safety and welfare regulations 1992)

I love snippets of information like that. Working on the railways all these years we tend to take such things for granted & everything is provided for us. Thanks.
 

Deepgreen

Established Member
Joined
12 Jun 2013
Messages
5,244
Location
Betchworth, Surrey
I was at Sandown Park for a show today and was amazed at the number of trains passing - every two or three minutes at times. It looked like a roughly normal frequency, yet SWR are claiming a severely limited service!
 

DelayRepay

Established Member
Joined
21 May 2011
Messages
2,191
Be very careful of this approach. Maximising disruption to minimise wage loss may seem logical but the public, who may accept the current action, would quickly get alienated and the government would make much of it. One of the reasons the miners strike in the 80s had varied public support was because many people remembered the previous strikes which ended up in scheduled power cuts; hence Thatcher vowed it would never happen again. I’ve been able to rearrange a regular rail journey to another day this week and have taken it on the chin. Preventing me from making the journey at all next time will leave a bitter taste. With a greater emphasis now on optional journeys, rather than distress purchases, beware of alienating remaining traffic. Assuming it will all return when this strike is over is a pretty dangerous thing to do. By all means strike but don’t be seen to be causing maximum disruption in this manner, I think it would backfire on you. I hope you get a reasonable settlement by the way.
Just to clarify, I was speculating at to what the RMT's next move might be, but I am not part of this dispute and do not work on the railways.

However I also hope they get a reasonable settlement - sadly that's not looking likely in the short term.
 

800001

Established Member
Joined
24 Oct 2015
Messages
1,688
I was at Sandown Park for a show today and was amazed at the number of trains passing - every two or three minutes at times. It looked like a roughly normal frequency, yet SWR are claiming a severely limited service!
Severely limited in that it will be no early morning trains and nothing after 1800ish?
 

Thumper1127

Member
Joined
19 Jan 2019
Messages
167
Just to clarify, I was speculating at to what the RMT's next move might be, but I am not part of this dispute and do not work on the railways.

However I also hope they get a reasonable settlement - sadly that's not looking likely in the short term.
Apologies, I didn’t mean to infer you were but should have re-worded it to avoid any doubt.
 

WiredUp

Member
Joined
17 May 2021
Messages
74
Location
Bedford
The BBC are reporting that Network Rail have 2000 unfilled vacancies so have no plans to make anyone compulsory redundant

The same article is reporting the RMT want a no compulsory redundancy guarantee before they will negotiate anything else.

Maybe I am being naïve, but RMT holding out for the guarantee (which they are unlikely to need) seems to be time wasting whilst members lose money.

There were at one point recently a number of org-charts in CD which had nominally unfilled positions on them (theoretical jobs). Now whether this translates as real roles which are actually unfilled and could be removed as an administrative exercise to 'save' jobs elsewhere is another thing. It wouldn't per se save money but could be used as a PR loophole I suppose.

I don't think the RMT will win the fight on no compulsory redundancies - there is too much driving the industry to reduce costs. But they may squeeze some better conditions out of the company if they show a bit of flexibility. I'm sure Mick Lynch has it in hand.:D
 

michael74

Member
Joined
3 Jul 2014
Messages
414
If you are required to wear a uniform for your job it is illegal not to provide changing and uniform storage facilities under the workplace (Health safety and welfare regulations 1992)
That's as maybe..... one hospital I worked at did supply said x1 changing room, in the basement and a good 10 minute walk from the opposite end of the building ... like most things box ticked.... the uniform policy still allowed for staff to travel to and from work in uniform.
 

matt_world2004

Established Member
Joined
5 Nov 2014
Messages
3,863
That's as maybe..... one hospital I worked at did supply said x1 changing room, in the basement and a good 10 minute walk from the opposite end of the building ... like most things box ticked.... the uniform policy still allowed for staff to travel to and from work in uniform.
The regulations actually go into lots of detail as to how many changing facilities should be provided per head count.

It is currently a matter of dispute in my workplace as I work at bus stops and there are no changing facilities there. With remote sign on
 

Philip

Established Member
Joined
27 May 2007
Messages
2,881
Location
Manchester
I don't think the RMT will win the fight on no compulsory redundancies - there is too much driving the industry to reduce costs. But they may squeeze some better conditions out of the company if they show a bit of flexibility. I'm sure Mick Lynch has it in hand.:D

What do you think Lynch might squeeze out of all this? Retention of 35 hour week? 7% pay rise? Busier ticket offices to remain open? Sundays and pensions not being touched?
 

michael74

Member
Joined
3 Jul 2014
Messages
414
The regulations actually go into lots of detail as to how many changing facilities should be provided per head count.

It is currently a matter of dispute in my workplace as I work at bus stops and there are no changing facilities there. With remote sign on
That's a fair comment, but the reality is your average nurse wouldn't actively fight for a decent pay rise so changing rooms would hardly register. Imagine how I felt when I recently stopped being a nurse, became a guard and walked into my newly built depot.....
 

matacaster

Established Member
Joined
19 Jan 2013
Messages
1,392
Not at all. But - to use an example - just because nurses are chronically underpaid (which I believe they are), I don't see how that it is within the RMT's remit considering they represent employers within the transport sector. Whilst I'm sure there's "union solidarity", the RMT are there to represent their members - it is hardly their fault if Unite, Unison, NUT or any other union decides not to push for stronger industrial action.

You are very conveniently missing off some major benefits of that generation though - decent state pensions, lots of professions were "sectors for life" and house prices when were a fraction of the wage ratio they are now. I appreciate not everything I've mentioned is specific to the case of your parents, but if you take the average 30 year old today and the average 30 year old fifty years ago, as a relative figure of wealth there will be some vast differences.

You simply couldn't even "scrape by" on just a state pension now.
Part of the reason for people having a 'decent state pension' as you suggest was that they were expected to die around 5 years after they retired on average. Increased life expectancy has come at a cost. The NHS keeps people alive much longer now. I do take issue with that as living to be 100 is just about the last thing I want. I want to depart this earth when I am unable to function reasonably and enjoy myself. Health and safety was quite poor years ago too - it's ramped up the cost of everything. Separate areas for men and women in hospital cost a lot of money and reduced capacity. Less than 10% went to university when I was young so it was free and affordable, now its around 45% go to university and they have to pay for it. Going to university isn't the right thing for many people, there aren't that many graduate careers, so a better idea is apprenticeships, but few employers are really interested as there is freedom for their apprentice to sod off as soon as they have completed trading to a company which didn't have to pay for the training.

I don't know what job you do on railways, but one route is to upskill yourself and get some qualifications, trust me it's more effective than self pity.
 

Tw99

Member
Joined
25 Aug 2015
Messages
153
Location
Reading
Where would the rail strike be ranked in a list of Government priorities, most of which they're already not handling very well.

It must come a fair way behind Ukraine; knock on effects of Russia sanctions - food and energy shortages; The Economy; NI border question and Stormont situation; other EU issues, terrible election results... Etc.

So I doubt much attention is being paid to it at the highest levels, as it just doesn't have enough impact.

I suspect the unions would have to massively ramp up the impact of any action if they really want to get the attention of the senior politicians.
 

matacaster

Established Member
Joined
19 Jan 2013
Messages
1,392
If the government wanted to offer an olive branch, no compulsory redundancies is quite an easy one. Workforce reductions can be achieved through natural wastage, and/or voluntary redundancy offers with an enhanced package.

But I do not think the government wish to offer an olive branch.
Trouble with that is the people who would refuse would be those least likely to be useful eg a lifelong shop steward who doesn't actually do any productive railway work.

I agree that it's not within the remit of RMT to cover other sectors, however there is a harsh reality here. We will always need nurses, police, teachers, refuse collectors etc, but the railways are more expendable. Everyone needs nurses etc, even though many might be fortunate enough not to need them yet, all of us have needed teachers in the past and many still do for their children and grandchildren, and so on, but the simple reality is that around 40% of all people in the UK haven't used trains for many years, and something more like 90% could do without them if they had to. Trains are a "nice to have" option, but a far, far greater proportion of the population rely on cars and can, if necessary, manage without trains. What this strike is doing is training people how to live without the railways.

I've been a lifelong rail user with a lifelong interest in rail operations, but most people I talk to can take or leave them. The RMT might be stronger than Unite etc, but it would be a huge own goal if they ended up with much less to fight for if the industry shrank due to disillusionment about their reliability. And quite possibly the dissuading effect of fare increases which will be needed to cover the wage and other demands. I don't approve of unreasonable management tactics any more than anyone else, but I do think that strikers need to be careful if their primary motive is purely financial.
Yep!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top