West Midlands train director sacked

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by davidknibb, 14 Jan 2020.

  1. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Might Govia mount a legal challenge if they do that to the point that it puts them in breach?
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Sales teams being out of touch with the delivery capabilities of the rest of the business is hardly an unusual situation, to be fair.
     
  3. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    almost universal isn’t it?
    And ‘out of touch’ is generous. More cynical folk might say that they don’t really care as long as they get their sales bonus - they can blame it on inept delivery if necessary.
    To be fair they are operating against an unprovable counterfactual - when they are about to get canned for not selling anything who is going to accept “well I couldn’t sell it for a profitable price, I mean using what it will actually cost because we are always late and over budget”
     
  4. jayah

    jayah Established Member

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    To be fair all these MDs are operating in a phoney market where the militant trade unions have zero stake in the commercial success of their business and manage to use paid overtime as a bargaining chip.
    In any other business a certain union would have succeeded in losing most of their members jobs.

    A change of MD, franchise, government or local mayor doesn't change that landscape.

    Other TOCs have recently parted with MDs who had as much operational experience as could realistically be expected of anyone.
     
  5. Djgr

    Djgr Member

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    So you are saying the problems of this TOC are essentially down to the Trade Unions and nothing to do with the lousy timetabling?
     
  6. jayah

    jayah Established Member

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    Look at how many TOCs are in trouble over Sundays and/or getting staff trained on new routes and stock.

    There is one common denominator in all of these problems, changing the MD wont change the fact the unions behave as if they have nothing to lose from scorching the earth.

    Public sector, private sector, LUL, heavy rail, across every owning group going, experienced MD or 'outsider' it doesn't seem to make any difference.
     
  7. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    I completely agree, that all became pretty clear long ago, when the likes of Graham Eccles, boss at BRs south central who’d contributed to development of a considerable DOO operation there, moved to SWT & promptly signed a deal with unions to rip all their recently renewed DOO equipment down
     
    Last edited: 19 Jan 2020
  8. SlimJim1694

    SlimJim1694 Member

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    The union at my place is crap. Management do what they like. The reason that coverage is so tight is because it's cheaper to employ less staff and rely on OT. Its nowt to do with unions. I love reading comments on here from people who clearly dont work in the job going on about unions this and unions that. Our company council are a waste of space who spend all day in the pub hiding from their members. If the company can't cover work its because they haven't got enough staff. Simple as that.
     
  9. jayah

    jayah Established Member

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    It is surprisingly difficult to cover any variations in work when the union have got the contracted week down to just 35hrs and even voluntary paid overtime is considered 'over and above'.

    If the company council can spend all day in the pub that suggests thet should be driving trains instead? In a lot of places employees would like the idea if being below establishment as it would mean more overtime but on the railway the unions prefer to shut down the business by using rest day working as leverage. In a real business the factory would close if they carried on like that.
     
  10. SlimJim1694

    SlimJim1694 Member

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    I don't think the length of the working week is anything to do with it. Its cheaper for companies to pay out OT than it is to recruit, train and retain the additional staff needed. ASLEF policy is actually to eliminate OT with it being sanctioned on a rolling basis (of course the reality is that so many people are reliant on/used to it that theyd be up in arms if it was stopped). If we were on a 50 hour week they'd just employ less staff and still rely on OT. Would you even want train drivers working more than a 35 hour, 4 day week? With the shift work and level of concentration and alertness required I think it would be irresponsible to suggest safety critical railway staff should be worked harder. There are countless accident reports that concluded fatigue was the cause.

    Yes. Although I expect they've forgotten how to.

    Many people do like the idea of loads of rest day working. Go into any depot and look at the rest day counts. You'll find guys doing over 80 rest days a year. When I booked on this morning I bumped into an ASLEF rep working overtime. If the union tried to stop rest day working they would face a backlash from members. If the union actually succeeded in stopping overtime the UK rail network would grind to a halt.
     
  11. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    Yes, both exceptional MDs.
     
  12. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    What are the overtime rates?
     
  13. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    I am no fan of RMT. However any management that relies on massive worker concessions on Terms and Conditions, ideally at zero cost, in order to make its plans viable is deluded and on a hiding to nothing. It is emphatically NOT the role of a TU, militant or otherwise, to screw it's members for the good of a business.
     
  14. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    Whether the members are getting ‘screwed’ depends on how gold plated their current position is.
    It’s the inability to have different contracts for new starters that really annoys me - they know what they are signing up to so there aren’t the same issues as for changing current workers’ terms
     
  15. Djgr

    Djgr Member

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    or of course the TOCs could simply employ enough staff to meet their promised obligations.
     
  16. 185

    185 Established Member

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    Omg, agree, it must have been the unions, and certainly... not a timetable of trains joining which didn't work, errors pathing trains leading to constant delay minutes, failure to provide recovery time at terminus, not properly accounting for passenger numbers joining AM peak services south of Milton Keynes, shortage of staff, train maintenance issues with subcontractor leading to short-forms, failure to meet parts of franchise requi.. ... no no, Komrade Korbyn and his filthy rich unions are a reprehensible bunch, the Daily Mail said so.
     
  17. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    I can’t think of any uk rail franchise or concession so far that’s been awarded with expectations on that basis .
     
    Last edited: 19 Jan 2020
  18. SlimJim1694

    SlimJim1694 Member

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    Can't speak for West Mids but at my place its £45 booking on payment and then normal rate. I know many other TOCs have better rates than this.

    Thank you. Nail on the head.
     
  19. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    In that case using overtime will be cheaper. Might be different if there was an hourly overtime rate.
     
  20. Energy

    Energy Member

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    Are SWR that amibitious/unrealistic? They have ordered a lot of new stock but they are a big franchise. LNwR aren't particularly either, the 350s have been in service for ages and have proved to be reliable, all they are doing is introducing a new fleet of trains in addition to the 350s, and a couple 230s. WMR isn't unreliastic, they are replacing 170s and introducing more 172s but I wouldn't call it that ambitious.
     
  21. 185

    185 Established Member

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    At WMT I've a funny suspicion it's plain time for RDW at I think for *some* grades, however Sundays are enhanced. Perhaps paying ordinary time is the issue creating a lack of OT volunteers.
     
  22. 158756

    158756 Member

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    The unions don't just have zero stake in the success of the business, they want their employers to go bust, in the belief that won't hurt, and might even benefit the members/the union's political aims. That's pretty much a unique position for any workforce - even in the NHS hospitals failing either clinically or financially have had services removed. Given that governments for some time have wanted to reduce the burden of railways on the public purse, perhaps OLR should be given a mandate to cut costs when taking over franchises which have failed to do so.
     
  23. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    it seems many posters are overlooking the one massive stinking elephant in the room: The DfT

    it is the DfT and wider government that control the agenda and sets the tone. It is them that, imo, prevent the TOC's from doing a deal with the unions that suits their individual commercial needs. The desire to impose a dogmatic and all encompassing solution from the top is the one that is creating greater problems than there need be.
     
  24. jayah

    jayah Established Member

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    DfT have little to do with the Victoria Line strike ballots. Same union, different management, not privatised either and run by a Labour Mayor...
     
  25. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    Good! The TOCs short term needs means that huge pay rises would be better than a sustained strike - they don’t have to pay the long term costs of caving in but suffer all the costs of the strike.
     
  26. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    goodness me. It isn't one or the other. Seeing it as that is what causes problems. It needs to be a free and open negotiation.

    I will admit it is difficult to do that when one side is constrained by dogma and the other by stupidity!
     
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2020
  27. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    Free and open negotiation between who? The TOC can’t be left to agree whatever they choose as the DfT is responsible for the long term future of the franchise. The only way a TOC could be free to do what they want is if the staff were all on fixed term contracts and their jobs ended with the franchise (and that would only work if a “no bids so no trains” default was on the table)
     
  28. HH

    HH Established Member

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    Abellio do not have access to what others bid (at least legally). Govia will have heavily been dependedent on the franchise staff to come up with their plan; those staff are now employed by Abellio. Who better than the team that's been doing it for years to sort it out? The fact that it looks a lot like what Govia bid is purely incidental...
     
  29. Silverlinky

    Silverlinky Member

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    Poorly performing franchise....new Managing Director, new Operations Director, new Human Resources Director, new Deputy Managing Director, New Customer Experience Director...….certainly big changes going on, which were probably needed.
    As for the overtime/traincrew numbers, its becoming apparent that certain parts of the company can not keep up with the amount of people leaving, whether it be moving on to other companies, or retirements. Forward planning is difficult when it takes 9-12 months for a Driver to be trained fully. You can't assume people will retire at 60, 62 or 65 any more as they are under no obligation to do so.
    There are plenty of deals made to get traincrew to work overtime, yes it is flat time but a minimum payment is made, plus there are many instances of people being plaid a bit on top. That and the Christmas, Easter and Summer deals which give extra enhancements.

    The railway runs on overtime, always has done.
     
  30. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

    I'm sure Govia will remind DfT of that at some opportune moment.
     

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