SWT Potential Olympic Strike

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embers25

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From the RMT website:

Bob Crow strikes again!

http://www.rmt.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=159940&int1stParentNodeID=89732
RAIL UNION RMT announced today that is to ballot staff on South West Trains for industrial action after the company reneged on Olympics agreements linked to this year’s pay settlement and attempted to impose a new regime that would force staff to work longer hours on extended services for nothing in return for the entire duration of the games.
This year’s pay agreement was accepted by staff following assurances from the company stating that there would minimal impact and that it would be “Business as Usual” during the Olympic/Paralympic period.
Recent developments show that this is clearly not the case as the company is now advertising additional trains and later running over the entire period. South West Trains (SWT) has hired extra rolling stock and has hired extra staff. Also, extra crews will be on standby, cleaners will have an increased work load, as will platform staff, ticket office staff, guards and the rest of the team.
SWT have issued no guarantees that existing rosters and agreed working patterns will be honoured without enforced overtime for all grades. RMT members report SWT managers admitting that an extra 80,000 passengers per day would be using Waterloo. SWT’s website confirms later running and additional services throughout the games periods including special timetables for the rowing at Eton and the sailing at Weymouth.
As a result RMT has declared a formal dispute and has begun preparations for a ballot for both strike action and action short of a strike.
RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:
“Other train operators, notably Heathrow Express this week, have negotiated agreements with RMT that recognise the added pressures of the Olympics. South West Trains have taken a different approach, reneging on earlier agreements and instead trying to bully staff into accepting enforced increases to working hours and workload with nothing in return.
“RMT will not stand by and watch while agreements and procedures are trampled in the dirt purely in the interests of profit as SWT exploit the games for their own benefit at our member’s expense. We remain available for talks aimed at resolving this dispute and the ball is now firmly in the companies court.”
Now I'm sorry but extra late night trains on SWT have been common knowledge for MONTHS and also the same for all operators and so for the RMT to claim otherwise is frankly ridiculous. Just because HEX agreed stupidly to pay extra, Bob Crow is now trying to hold the other companies to ransom. The RMT and UNITE are out of control now, talk about power going to their heads.
As many are aware I am not SWT's biggest fan but I hope to god they stand firm here and don't cave in to more ridiculous union demands as they are dead right to offer nothing.
 
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Schnellzug

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Obviously, this is just good ol' Bob, the passengers' friend, trying it on, and that after all is basically his job, so i don't suppose we should be surprised. Still, it would amuse me, although I'm pretty sure that LOCOG, who seem to have more power than the Government do, would be able to impose martial law or something to force them to cancel any industrial action.
South West Trains (SWT) has hired extra rolling stock
has it really?
 

Matt Taylor

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Now I'm sorry but extra late night trains on SWT have been common knowledge for MONTHS and also the same for all operators and so for the RMT to claim otherwise is frankly ridiculous. Just because HEX agreed stupidly to pay extra, Bob Crow is now trying to hold the other companies to ransom. The RMT and UNITE are out of control now, talk about power going to their heads.
As many are aware I am not SWT's biggest fan but I hope to god they stand firm here and don't cave in to more ridiculous union demands as they are dead right to offer nothing.

If you want to start a union bashing thread can you at least get the basic facts right.
 

SS4

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If you want to start a union bashing thread can you at least get the basic facts right.
Therein lies the biggest problem. Trade Unions are always portrayed as greedy and hostage takers. If the BBC can't be bothered to get the facts its hardly surprising the OP can't be bothered.
Union bashing usually comes down to lack of understanding (all drivers do is read the paper) or jealousy (I haven't got a wage increase this year so why should they?)
 

Schnellzug

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Therein lies the biggest problem. Trade Unions are always portrayed as greedy and hostage takers. If the BBC can't be bothered to get the facts its hardly surprising the OP can't be bothered.
Union bashing usually comes down to lack of understanding (all drivers do is read the paper) or jealousy (I haven't got a wage increase this year so why should they?)
Does Bob, though, which his perpetual rhetoric about Trampling the workers into the dirt and Management riding roughshod, really help? Why do Union leaders always seem to do their utmost to live up to the stereotypes? If Unions want people to understand and sympathise with them, why do they always sound just so old fashioned and argumentative?
 

SS4

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Does Bob, though, which his perpetual rhetoric about Trampling the workers into the dirt and Management riding roughshod, really help? Why do Union leaders always seem to do their utmost to live up to the stereotypes? If Unions want people to understand and sympathise with them, why do they always sound just so old fashioned and argumentative?
What's Bob meant to do when nobody in the press will give him a fair hearing and anything he does say is usually taken out of context. Exactly where did the union leader stereotype come from?

That statement I quoted which was full of lies was an RMT one direct from their website not me so the "basic facts" are from the horses mouth.
No link, no believe you (and I expect it to come from the RMT site)
 

HexDriver

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I love the way people automatically assume its all down to Bob Crow that he sits in his office trying to decide where to call a strike next, when it reality most disputes start at local level and Bob only gets involved when local and regional reps are unable to agree with management and it gets escalated

Just to clarify the hex deal, payments are only triggered if the company meets their targets i.e a significant increase in their usual projections for that time of year and you happened to be working that day, theres 14 days in total where they expect it to be busier and you have to be working all of those to get £700
 

embers25

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No link, no believe you (and I expect it to come from the RMT site)
http://www.rmt.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=159940&int1stParentNodeID=89732

I assume by asking for a link it meant you didn't believe that the RMT could possibly state such rubbish. Also it wasn't from the BBC so to that poster are you saying the RMT haven't got their facts straight then!!! (Oh wait that's what I said so you couldn't possibly agree as that would be union bashing and its fine to mislead in a press release but to query such misleading releases is union bashing!)

Their latest news page is full of strikes (oh the surprise)...it really is about time the unions were brought back under control or better still crushed once and for all as they are killing the UK.
 
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SS4

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embers25

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I love the way people automatically assume its all down to Bob Crow that he sits in his office trying to decide where to call a strike next, when it reality most disputes start at local level and Bob only gets involved when local and regional reps are unable to agree with management and it gets escalated

Just to clarify the hex deal, payments are only triggered if the company meets their targets i.e a significant increase in their usual projections for that time of year and you happened to be working that day, theres 14 days in total where they expect it to be busier and you have to be working all of those to get £700
You shouldn't get a damn thing extra for doing your normal job its just opportunist money grabbing by the unions holding the country to ransom. Where does it end...do we start paying extra for Cup Final Day? I can see a conductor may have a little extra stress but what extra stress does the driver have anyway (except from possibly having to work a train a little later than usual)?

Bus drivers I can kind of see but still don't agree with but not train drivers. They are no more impacted than a fisherman in Scotland. This is just the RMT flexing its muscle to show it is still a force to be reckoned with and it needs crushing once and for all.
 

HexDriver

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You shouldn't get a damn thing extra for doing your normal job its just opportunist money grabbing by the unions holding the country to ransom. Where does it end...do we start paying extra for Cup Final Day? I can see a conductor may have a little extra stress but what extra stress does the driver have anyway (except from possibly having to work a train a little later than usual)?

Bus drivers I can kind of see but still don't agree with but not train drivers. They are no more impacted than a fisherman in Scotland. This is just the RMT flexing its muscle to show it is still a force to be reckoned with and it needs crushing once and for all.
Its not opportunist its a common sense decision by all sides and allows staff to benefit from the companies economic success and has staff going the extra mile, as for holding people to ransom how does that work if the company doesn't meet its extended targets no payment is made?

Also train drivers are impacted by working longer shifts and drivers are not hourly paid so the extra work they are being asked to do without any additional agreement means they are being asked to do for free, and i'm sure if in your line of work your employer demands to work longer you don't just bend over backwards and accept it.

People have the right to stand up for themselves and it just happens the RMT is actually quite good at doing that
 

Tomnick

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SWT have issued no guarantees that existing rosters and agreed working patterns will be honoured without enforced overtime for all grades
From your original post. It's one thing doing your normal job, between the times stated on your roster and known to you for weeks or months in advance; it's quite another to be forced to work overtime or have your roster changed at relatively short notice. Isn't it fair that they should get some sort of additional payment if they're being asked (or told) to be more flexible?
 

Monty

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I have to say this is the first I've heard of it! To my knowledge the company has not backed out of any pay deal that was agreed and signed for nearly four months ago. The Olympics were mentioned during the discussions with the company hence why we were offered 4.75%, which the union advised us all to accept. It was made quite clear to us this was a final offer and no further discussion about extra pay for the games would be made and it would be business as usual. Infact the only thing left unresolved was the request by RMT that further pay review disscussions for guards would be held seprately from other grades like the drivers are currently done now. So a bit perplexed about this one!
 

SS4

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@OP: Do you have union representation in your job? If so is it a strong union like RMT or PCS?

I ask because in many cases it seems to be jealousy that other workers can negotiate with their employers whilst you can't. A Union's raison d'etre is to protect pay and conditions and to negotiate a good deal for its members from unscrupulous management. A similar, yet opposite, mechanism is that how do you feel that all your unpaid overtime means the boss can get another zero on the end of his bonus?
 

embers25

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From your original post. It's one thing doing your normal job, between the times stated on your roster and known to you for weeks or months in advance; it's quite another to be forced to work overtime or have your roster changed at relatively short notice. Isn't it fair that they should get some sort of additional payment if they're being asked (or told) to be more flexible?
There are numerous jobs where you work overtime to meet demands of a peak period at short notice...often unpaid and it is known as "business need". Its also hardly short notice as they've known it would be expected since at the latest when the extra late night services were announced months ago. Even the RMT haven't said people will be forced to work, they just said they haven't been given guarentees they won't which is not the same thing.
 

SS4

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There are numerous jobs where you work overtime to meet demands of a peak period at short notice...often unpaid and it is known as "business need". Its also hardly short notice as they've known it would be expected since at the latest when the extra late night services were announced months ago. Even the RMT haven't said people will be forced to work, they just said they haven't been given guarentees they won't which is not the same thing.
There are also contracts of employment and working time directives
 

ushawk

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Never knew SWT were HIRING extra rolling stock for services. Most TOCs are hiring extra staff for the Olympics and are running extra services.

Of course if current staff havent been told about the plans, are being told they have to work extra hours without any notice - then that isnt really acceptable in which case i support staff members striking - but doing it during the Olympics isnt acceptable.
 

embers25

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@OP: Do you have union representation in your job? If so is it a strong union like RMT or PCS?

I ask because in many cases it seems to be jealousy that other workers can negotiate with their employers whilst you can't. A Union's raison d'etre is to protect pay and conditions and to negotiate a good deal for its members from unscrupulous management. A similar, yet opposite, mechanism is that how do you feel that all your unpaid overtime means the boss can get another zero on the end of his bonus?
No I don't currently have union representation but have worked in jobs that did and am grateful to be free from them. Also not all management is unscrupulous and also often management can be more flexible with buy in from employees which the RMT don't exactly support. The RMT has an expressed interest in causing trouble as if there are no issues then no one would join or pay dues and they would cease to exist and Bob Crow would join the unemployment line. Bottom line is its all politics not employee rights at all.
 

Tomnick

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There are numerous jobs where you work overtime to meet demands of a peak period at short notice...often unpaid and it is known as "business need".
Yes, as I do in my current job. It's part of the contract, so I can't really complain, and our management is flexible - happy for us to take the time back if/when workload allows, or claim pay for the overtime if it's more than a few hours over the week. Rather different here though.
Its also hardly short notice as they've known it would be expected since at the latest when the extra late night services were announced months ago.
Extra services don't necessarily mean forced overtime. Not sure if there's an agreement for them to work their rest days, but covering the extra work that way, wit volunteers, would be one possibility.
Even the RMT haven't said people will be forced to work, they just said they haven't been given guarentees they won't which is not the same thing.
Wouldn't you rather know that you won't be forced to work overtime so that you can plan things for your rest days?
 

radamfi

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Given that the RMT doesn't believe they get a good deal at the moment, what will they be satisfied with? It seems that no matter how good things get, there will always be something to complain about. And there is nothing that anyone can do about it. I don't see why the RMT don't go for a £100,000 basic salary for a 30 hour week. There is nothing to stop them.
 

Matt Taylor

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Infact the only thing left unresolved was the request by RMT that further pay review disscussions for guards would be held seprately from other grades like the drivers are currently done now. So a bit perplexed about this one!
We've been asking for that for a long time but nothing ever happens, so much for the union working for us!
 

SussexMan

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... and drivers are not hourly paid...
I realise that a driver's contract wouldn't state "£x per hour" but is there no working week length in the contract, i.e. "£x000 for y hours per week" type arrangement. If not, there must be some measure in the contract. If drivers aren't hourly paid then I assume overtime can never be paid - what happens with long delays and ending work late? Are all contracts the same across TOCs? What about other train staff or are drivers on very different contracts?
 

A-driver

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Why are drivers being brought into this thread? This is the RMT-I would be surprised if many SWT drivers were involved in this-they would be represented by aslef-nothing to do with the RMT or bob crow.

As for contracts drivers get paid for a weekly set of hours which is pro rata so some weeks will be more, some less. For overtime it varies company to company but often the first 15or 30 mins are for free for delays/submitting reports etc. After that you are paid overtime.
 

dk1

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As a driver we work to aggreements that have been set up over many many years & both staff & management have to keep to their sides of the bargain. The Olympic bonuses are a bit of a carrot to allow this to be temporarily suspended & thus allow changes to rosters etc to come into force to allow additional services &/or changes to usual practice to come into effect. Staff could otherwise refuse to agree & put the enhanced level into jeopardy. I am not saying everyone would but without this suspension a reliable Olympic timetable would be very difficult to achieve. Rather than risk this the TOCs have approached the staff side & worked out a deal that most are now very quite satisfied with from what i see & hear. Even those who rarely work overtime are offering to work for the enhanced pay rates & i predict that staffing throughout will be of no problem on the GEML.
 

Goldfish62

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I don't wish to get involved in taking sides in this debate (apart from saying I'm proud to be an active trade unionist as well as a manager:D), but on a point of fact where are all these alleged extra services that SWT is running during the Olympics?

As far as I can see their service provision is pretty pathetic - one extra late night train to Staines and a handful of last trains retimed by a few minutes.
 

swj99

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Their latest news page is full of strikes (oh the surprise)...it really is about time the unions were brought back under control or better still crushed once and for all as they are killing the UK.
It could just as easily be suggested that the government is killing the UK and needs to be brought back under control. It just depends on your perspective and point of view.

To stereotype and discount any union leader, whether it be Bob Crowe or anyone else, is as bad as singling out someone because of their racial origin.

My observation of industrial disputes over the years is that in order to win an argument, one side will attempt to damage the credibility of the other side, with petty personal arguments which tend to derail the matter at hand. Somewhat similar to the terrible example which is set by some MPs in parliament.
 

WelshBluebird

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Maybe I am being a bit dim, but if they are being asked to work more hours during the games, then why shouldn't they be paid extra?
I do agree that the olympic bonuses that have been talked about are a bit of a joke in some of the cases (where the staff will just be doing their normal job anyway), but in cases where staff will have to work longer hours, then it is only fair that they get paid for that extra time.
 

Robbies

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Maybe I am being a bit dim, but if they are being asked to work more hours during the games, then why shouldn't they be paid extra?
I do agree that the olympic bonuses that have been talked about are a bit of a joke in some of the cases (where the staff will just be doing their normal job anyway), but in cases where staff will have to work longer hours, then it is only fair that they get paid for that extra time.
They should be paid extra and in details that I read from the negotiations fours months ago I believe correct me if I am wrong that South West Trains did agree to pay both drivers and guards that work through the Olympic period extra which is also the same with the HEx staff as well?

On the point about stereotyping Bob Crowe, to me as someone who is does not work in the railways, Mr Crowe always seems to be more of a nuisance when there is not a Labour goverment in power. I think he needs to realise that when the power of Government changes to a different party or as in the case of the present Government it is parties, then the thinking needs to be changed as to how to work with the new Government rather than being a nuisance. It is better for him to work with the Government so that peolle keep travelling otherwise the media just show it as being his fault as he is the one that calls the strikes that happen, rather than the Government or the train companies more so for any hours being worked to keep everyone happy.
 
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