RAIL UNION RMT announced today that it is making urgent preparations for a ballot for both strike action and action short of a strike of all members on the First Great Western franchise following the tabling of hopelessly inadequate Olympics recognition and reward proposals.

RMT has consulted with reps, who have rejected the company proposals, which go no way to recognising the increase in Olympics related traffic on the Great Western routes and which have been stitched together using the tried and tested method of “divide and rule”

RMT is demanding that First Great Western look at some of the best practice in the transport sector on Olympics recognition and reward and commit themselves to following the same principles.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“ RMT members rightly expect that their extra commitment and work over the Olympic games period will be rewarded in line with other Olympics payments that have been negotiated elsewhere in the industry. The stance of First Great Western on this matter shows nothing but contempt and disrespect of our members taking them for granted in the full knowledge that the company will profit from the Games while the staff are kicked in the teeth’

“First Great Western are another train operator who have deliberately dragged their feet over this crucial issue knowing that the clock is ticking down and they have now confronted us at the eleventh hour with an offer which they knew full well would be totally unacceptable.

“As a consequence we now have no option but to move to an urgent ballot for both strike action and action short of a strike to reinforce our case for a fair and unified settlement.

“There can be no excuse for the cavalier attitude of the company to these negotiations on an essential section of the Olympics transport network and we would hope that they would now come to their senses and enter into meaningful talks at this late stage.”

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