Solidarity Magazine » RMT http://solidaritymagazine.org Fri, 01 Mar 2013 19:29:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.8 RMT demands publication of secret “RMT File” http://solidaritymagazine.org/2012/03/rmt-demands-publication-of-secret-rmt-file/ http://solidaritymagazine.org/2012/03/rmt-demands-publication-of-secret-rmt-file/#comments Tue, 06 Mar 2012 10:34:34 +0000 http://solidaritymagazine.org/?p=1707 Continue reading ]]> Rail union the RMT today demanded full disclosure of the secret “RMT FILE” held by blacklisting organisation the Consulting Association as evidence mounts of police and security services involvement in the targeting of union activists in the construction and railway industries.
To date, the Information Commissioner has only released construction industry files held by the Consulting Association.

However, those same files refer specifically to cross referencing to another “RMT FILE” which remains unpublished and which RMT says has been used by employers subscribing to the Consulting Association blacklisting services to wreck our members working lives in the railway industry.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“The Information Commissioners Office knows that an “RMT FILE” exists in the Consulting Association records as it is cross referenced in information from the construction industry files that we have in our possession. It is a scandal that nearly three years after this original information came to light that we have still not received copies of the “RMT FILE.”

“Clearly, we have reason to believe that this blacklisting file would have identified RMT activists who will have suffered financial loss from this conspiracy to target known trade union activists purely on the basis of their trade union activity.

“This whole murky saga, and the collusion with the police and the security services, has clear parallels with the Leveson investigations and RMT demands full disclosure and will have no hesitation in pursuing legal action against those involved in this scandal.”

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Britain’s two largest rail unions agree to merger talks http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/07/britain%e2%80%99s-two-largest-rail-unions-agree-to-merger-talks/ http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/07/britain%e2%80%99s-two-largest-rail-unions-agree-to-merger-talks/#comments Fri, 22 Jul 2011 16:49:58 +0000 http://solidaritymagazine.org/?p=1635 Continue reading ]]> Publication Date: July 22 2011

The TSSA and RMT unions today agreed to commit to formal talks which could ultimately lead to a merger of the two unions. Initial discussions will focus on closer working between both unions initially through a federation structure with a view to moving towards a merger. Both unions also agreed that the door will remain open for other smaller specialist unions in transport who may be thinking along similar lines to join the discussions at a future date.

Commenting on the decision, TSSA General Secretary Gerry Doherty said : “Today’s decision will hopefully be the start of a process designed to serve the interests of future generations of transport and travel trade workers. We owe an obligation to our children and our children’s children to leave better organisations that protect workers in the very uncertain future that they currently face”

Speaking on behalf of the RMT, General Secretary Bob Crow said : “This is a historical day for the trade union movement. These talks will bring together two unions each with over a hundred years of specialising in the transport industry in the interests of workers.”

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Employment Tribunal finds Arwyn Thomas was unfairly dismissed http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/06/employment-tribunal-finds-arwyn-thomas-was-unfairly-dismissed/ http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/06/employment-tribunal-finds-arwyn-thomas-was-unfairly-dismissed/#comments Wed, 22 Jun 2011 16:00:45 +0000 http://solidaritymagazine.org/?p=1600 Continue reading ]]>

June 22, 2011

Arwyn Thomas’s Employment Tribunal today found that the London Underground driver was unfairly dismissed and that “no reasonable employer would have dismissed him in these circumstances.”

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said:

Throughout this process LU have said that they would abide by the Tribunal ruling so all that we are now asking them to do is stick to their word and get Arwyn back to work. I am seeking an urgent meeting with the Managing Director to make the necessary arrangements.”

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Tube victimisation dispute – the facts http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/06/tube-victimisation-dispute-the-facts/ http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/06/tube-victimisation-dispute-the-facts/#comments Tue, 14 Jun 2011 11:10:56 +0000 http://solidaritymagazine.org/?p=1575 Continue reading ]]> Publication Date: June 14 2011

With strike action in the tube victimisation dispute beginning this weekend, tube union RMT today set out a summary of the key facts regarding the specific case of Northern Line driver Arwyn Thomas:

1. Arwyn has been a member of the RMT for nearly 30 years and throughout this time has had an exemplary employment record with London Underground without even so much as a reference for attendance or lateness.

2. During his 30 years, Arwyn has been a staunch and loyal activist in the RMT supporting the union’s campaigns, holding a number of offices – right up to executive level within London Transport – and representing members at all levels.

3. The wholly unfounded allegations against Arwyn are that he was abusive towards a strike-breaker at the Morden depot and towards a station supervisor at Kennington. Not only are these allegations totally untrue but at Arwyns “Interim Relief” tribunal hearing the chair, on hearing evidence from both sides, took the almost unprecedented step of asking the LU managers to step outside for fifteen minutes to consider immediate reinstatement.

4. LU managers foolishly refused the Tribunal chair’s invitation and as a consequence Arwyn was awarded “Interim Relief”, putting him back on full wages pending the outcome of his full tribunal. This decision was hugely significant as the burden of proof to secure interim relief on the grounds of dismissal for union activities is set extremely high – as it was in the case of victimised and reinstated driver Eamonn Lynch.

5. At the full Employment Tribunal hearing, which has now concluded and for which we await the results, the CCTV evidence showed clearly that not only had Arwyn not been abusive but that he had been pursued across the station by the strike-breaker who was openly trying to provoke a confrontation. It also showed that at no time did he enter the supervisor’s office at Kennington, contrary to the management claims. The only independent witness stated that there was no aggression on Arwyn’s part.

6. As a consequence of all the evidence it is absolutely clear that the charges against Arwyn that led to his dismissal are entirely bogus and it is also clear that the real reason for his dismissal is because he has shown himself to be a loyal and effective union activist for the past thirty years.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

The facts in Arwyn Thomas’s case could not be clearer and with the rolling action due to start this weekend I would appeal again to London Underground to see sense, abide by the spirit of the agreement we reached with them weeks ago over these vitimisations and get Arwyn back to work doing what he is being paid to do – drive tube trains.

This trade union would not be worth its salt if we didn’t stand up and fight injustice and Arwyn Thomas’s case is probably the clearest cut case of victimisation on the grounds of union activities that you will ever see. The chair of the interim tribunal found exactly that when LU were invited to adjourn for fifteen minutes and re-employ – it is a tragedy for Londoner’s and for industrial relations on the tube that they blew that opportunity.

However, it’s not too late to make amends and rather than plunging London into a series of tube-wide actions starting Sunday night there is still time to put right this wrong and we remain available for talks aimed at achieving a just outcome in this case.”

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RMT seeks urgent meeting with Transport Secretary http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/06/rmt-seeks-urgent-meeting-with-transport-secretary-as-detailed-analysis-shows-that-mcnulty-review-will-turn-railways-into-a-muggers-paradise/ http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/06/rmt-seeks-urgent-meeting-with-transport-secretary-as-detailed-analysis-shows-that-mcnulty-review-will-turn-railways-into-a-muggers-paradise/#comments Sun, 12 Jun 2011 19:01:38 +0000 http://solidaritymagazine.org/?p=1571 Continue reading ]]> RAIL UNION RMT today demanded an urgent meeting with Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond as a detailed study of the fine print of the McNulty Rail Review revealed that it will pave the way for:

· the closure of all Category E station ticket offices;

· reducing the opening hours at Category D station ticket offices;

· increasing the use of Ticket Vending Machines at Category A to C stations, enabling a reduction in the number of ticket office windows

RMT have calculated that the proposals will have the effect of halving the number of ticket offices on the Network and meaning that three quarters of stations will not have ticket offices. Those remaining will have substantially reduced hours.

With the McNulty Review also recommending that Driver Only Operation should be the default position on all services, that gives the train operators the green light to dump all guards from their services by the beginning of 2013 on top of the Ticket Office cuts and closures – axing safety-critical staff from stations and trains in one blow.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

On the day that Network Rail have issued their annual results this detailed scrutiny shows us just what the real consequences of McNulty will be – wholesale de-staffing of trains and stations to fatten up profits at the expense of passenger service and passenger safety.

We warned that the McNulty carve up would turn the rail system into a muggers and a criminals paradise, where profits are the only show in town, and this latest research shows the full extent of the dangerous track we are being dragged down.

For passengers it means paying higher fares to travel on unsafe, de-staffed services while the train operators are laughing all the way to the bank.”

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RMT seeks urgent meeting with Transport Secretary as detailed analysis shows that McNulty Review will turn railways into a mugger’s paradise http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/06/rmt-seeks-urgent-meeting-with-transport-secretary-as-detailed-analysis-shows-that-mcnulty-review-will-turn-railways-into-a-mugger%e2%80%99s-paradise/ http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/06/rmt-seeks-urgent-meeting-with-transport-secretary-as-detailed-analysis-shows-that-mcnulty-review-will-turn-railways-into-a-mugger%e2%80%99s-paradise/#comments Sun, 12 Jun 2011 18:01:38 +0000 http://solidaritymagazine.org/?p=1571 Continue reading ]]> RAIL UNION RMT today demanded an urgent meeting with Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond as a detailed study of the fine print of the McNulty Rail Review revealed that it will pave the way for:

· the closure of all Category E station ticket offices;

· reducing the opening hours at Category D station ticket offices;

· increasing the use of Ticket Vending Machines at Category A to C stations, enabling a reduction in the number of ticket office windows

RMT have calculated that the proposals will have the effect of halving the number of ticket offices on the Network and meaning that three quarters of stations will not have ticket offices. Those remaining will have substantially reduced hours.

With the McNulty Review also recommending that Driver Only Operation should be the default position on all services, that gives the train operators the green light to dump all guards from their services by the beginning of 2013 on top of the Ticket Office cuts and closures – axing safety-critical staff from stations and trains in one blow.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

On the day that Network Rail have issued their annual results this detailed scrutiny shows us just what the real consequences of McNulty will be – wholesale de-staffing of trains and stations to fatten up profits at the expense of passenger service and passenger safety.

We warned that the McNulty carve up would turn the rail system into a muggers and a criminals paradise, where profits are the only show in town, and this latest research shows the full extent of the dangerous track we are being dragged down.

For passengers it means paying higher fares to travel on unsafe, de-staffed services while the train operators are laughing all the way to the bank.”

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RMT names further strike dates in vicimisations dispute http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/06/1555/ http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/06/1555/#comments Thu, 09 Jun 2011 17:00:20 +0000 http://solidaritymagazine.org/?p=1555 Continue reading ]]> Publication Date: June 9 2011

TUBE UNION RMT today announced strike dates involving all train driver members in the on-going dispute over the victimisation of union activist Arwyn Thomas over his trade union activities and the associated continuing harassment and victimisation of union reps throughout London Underground.

Despite strenuous efforts by RMT, LU have refused to reach an agreement that would reinstate Arwyn Thomas despite his successful appeal for “interim relief” for unfair dismissal at the Employment Tribunal on the grounds of his trade union activities.

As a result, train driver members are instructed not to book on for shifts:

· Between 21.01 hours on Sunday 19th June 2011 and 03.00 hours on Monday 20th June 2011.

RMT has also served notice of further action in light of a continuing failure to agree on reinstatement where drivers will be instructed not to book on for shifts:

· Between 21.01 hours on Monday 27th June 2011 and 11.59 Hours on Tuesday 28th June 2011

· Between 12.00 hours on Wednesday 29th June 2011 and 11.59 hours on Thursday 30th June 2011

· Between 12.00 hours on Friday 1st July 2011 and 21.00 hours on Friday 1st July 2011

Arwyn Thomas, a long-standing RMT activist and driver at Morden was sacked on trumped-up disciplinary charges following unproven allegations made against him by strike breakers. The charges were wholly rejected at his interim relief tribunal in a case that has clear parallels with that of sacked and reinstated driver Eamonn Lynch.

Arwyn has been an RMT/NUR member for over 29 years and has held various positions in the union. As a result of his victory at the interim relief hearing at the Employment Tribunal on the grounds of his victimisation as an RMT activist Arwyn has been waiting at home on full pay for the opportunity to get back to work and do the job that Londoners are paying him to do – driving trains. RMT calculates that the combined cost in legal fees and wasted time and effort keeping Arwyn off work when he should be back in the cab is at least a quarter of a million pounds.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

RMT has made every possible effort to get Arwyn Thomas back to work and it is the intransigence of LU management, who have dragged their heels and failed to reach agreement over the past month, that has left us with no choice to put this strike action on.

This is a clear cut case of victimisation and RMT calls on London Underground once again to stop the delaying tactics, and the continuing waste of hundreds of thousands of pounds that they have thrown at this case, and get Arwyn Thomas back to work.

The massive vote for action by tube drivers in this dispute shows that they are well aware of the consequences of allowing our activists and safety reps to be picked off while we hear daily reports of breakdowns and failures on the network as a direct result of the very cuts that our members have been fighting.”

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RMT response to the McNulty Rail Review http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/05/rmt-response-to-the-mcnulty-rail-review/ http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/05/rmt-response-to-the-mcnulty-rail-review/#comments Fri, 20 May 2011 09:21:28 +0000 http://solidaritymagazine.org/?p=1536 Continue reading ]]> RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

The inefficiencies of the UK rail system are entirely bound up with the fragmentation and profiteering of privatisation. The McNulty report tacitly accepts that but does nothing to address the issue”

A graphic example is First Group bailing out of the Great Western franchise three years early, depriving the taxpayer of £826 million in premium payments while soaking up £140 million in government subsidy at the same time. Deal with that kind of scandal and the Government could claw back their £1 billion savings target at a stroke.

Rail services are 30% more expensive in the UK as against comparable European operations for one, simple reason – privatisation. It’s the greed, exploitation and restrictive practices of the train operators that have led us to this situation and we will fight any attempt to shift the blame onto hardworking staff trying to provide quality services against a backdrop of increasing demand and front-line cuts.

It’s a gross waste of time and money that Network Rail has 600 lawyers on the books doing nothing other than negotiating with the train operators on who is responsible for delays and arguing the toss between them for assorted service failures. Public ownership of an integrated rail service would put an end to that nonsense.

RMT has said all along that sacking staff, closing ticket offices and jacking up fares, while the train operators are handed gold-plated franchises, is just an escalation of all the worst practices of privatisation and if that is the outcome of this process it will be resisted by rail unions and the travelling public alike.”

 

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Tube strike action due to commence next week suspended after unfairly sacked train driver Eamonn Lynch is re-employed and RMT and LUL agree to further discussions on Arwyn Thomas http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/05/tube-strike-action-due-to-commence-next-week-suspended-after-unfairly-sacked-train-driver-eamonn-lynch-is-re-employed-and-rmt-and-lul-agree-to-further-discussions-on-arwyn-thomas/ http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/05/tube-strike-action-due-to-commence-next-week-suspended-after-unfairly-sacked-train-driver-eamonn-lynch-is-re-employed-and-rmt-and-lul-agree-to-further-discussions-on-arwyn-thomas/#comments Wed, 11 May 2011 13:25:47 +0000 http://solidaritymagazine.org/?p=1510 Continue reading ]]> Publication Date: May 10 2011

TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that tube drivers strike action – due to commence next week – has been suspended following an agreement with London Underground to re-employ unfairly sacked driver Eamonn Lynch, and agreement to hold further discussion aimed at resolving the unfair dismissal of sacked driver Arwyn Thomas in advance of his Employment Tribunal.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

This dispute has only ever been about securing justice for our members who have been unfairly dismissed. As a result of this agreement Eamonn Lynch can return to work with his continuity of employment and standard of living protected.

We now also have an agreement to enter into further discussions with relation to Arwyn Thomas aimed at resolving his unfair dismissal case in advance of his Employment Tribunal.

As a result we have agreed to suspend the action to allow those further discussions to take place over the next week.

I want to pay tribute to the loyalty and determination of our members on London Underground who have continued to stand shoulder to shoulder with their colleagues Eamonn and Arwyn. Their strength and courage has been a shining example to the entire trade union movement.”

RMT General Grades Committee decision:

Following consultation with our representatives, we accept the agreement tabled to us, which

  • secures the re-engagement of Eamonn Lynch without loss of salary;
  • establishes a review of industrial disputes;
  • arranges legal discussions in the Arwyn Thomas case in an attempt to resolve the dispute, which in our view can be resolved only by his reinstatement; and
  • agrees a further meeting between LU and RMT next week.

Accordingly, we suspend all Industrial Action due to commence next week.

We acknowledge that it has been the commitment of our members to solidarity with their sacked workmates that has led us to this position. Our members remain committed to taking action to achieve justice if necessary.

We therefore instruct the General Secretary to place this matter back in front of us on Monday 16 May with a report on progress with the legal talks on the Arwyn Thomas case. We expect these talks to result in Arwyn’s reinstatement, and should that not be the case, it is our intention to call further strike action similar to that previously planned, as requested by our train grades representatives.

We instruct the General Secretary to make clear our stance in full to London Underground Ltd and to the media.

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Drivers vote to stop victimisations on the tube http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/05/drivers-vote-to-stop-victimisations-on-the-tube/ http://solidaritymagazine.org/2011/05/drivers-vote-to-stop-victimisations-on-the-tube/#comments Mon, 02 May 2011 15:35:11 +0000 http://solidaritymagazine.org/?p=1498 Continue reading ]]>

What a result! Train drivers and Instructor operators on LU were asked “are you prepared to take strike action over the victimisation of Eamonn Lynch and Arwyn Thomas?” 64% of drivers responded with a resounding yes vote on a turnout of nearly 50%.


This is a major achievement for the union and shows that drivers across the whole of the combine and in every depot are determined to stop the victimisation of our fellow drivers. Never before has the union escalated an individual case across the whole of the tube network.

 

Support for RMT campaigns combine wide are normally based on pay issues, terms and conditions or safety. To gain the support of our driver members the length and breadth of the combine for these two individuals is a fantastic show of solidarity for our victimised work mates. This result sends a clear message to LU bosses that drivers have had enough of the abuse of procedures and the oppressive management regime in force.


This result also shows that our members understand that these unfair dismissals represent an attack upon us all and that they are not prepared to stand aside and allow the company to get away with it.


Eamonn’s Employment Tribunal finished over six weeks ago, but the Tribunal judge has still not issued his decision. We expect the judgement very soon, and the union will be holding a press conference on the day it is delivered. Arwyn’s Tribunal will take place during the week of 23 May. Both Eamonn and Arwyn have already won ‘interim relief’ at earlier hearings, so we are confident that their Employment Tribunals will uphold their complaints of having
been sacked unfairly due to their trade union activities. However, even if the Tribunals order London Underground to reinstate them, LU can refuse to do so. That is why the RMT cannot rely on the legal process, but has had to organise campaigning and industrial action.


RMT has again asked LU management for talks aimed at resolving this dispute by getting our sacked reps back to work, and we await a response from them. The union is preparing a leaflet for the public, and is working with our Parliamentary group of MPs and supportive Greater London Assembly members to pursue these cases through political channels.
But should management not respond to this lobbying, we will have to hold strike action.
Eamonn and Arwyn’s interim relief cases show that they have been sacked for their trade union activity and LU have been ordered to pay their wages, pensions and to maintain all LU privileges including staff passes. This is an absurd situation where two experienced drivers are being paid to stay at home when all they want to do is book on for work as nomal.


The RMT General Grades Committee is currently considering what action to take to resolve this situation and see Eamonn and Arwyn back on the front of trains where they belong. A meeting of drivers’ reps and activists on the day the ballot result was announced agreed that a one-day strike would be ineffective as management are prepared to ride one-day strikes through. The consensus at the meeting was that a protest strike is simply not good enough. This dispute will not be won until and unless both men are reinstated. We therefore need a strategy, carefully thought out and executed to maximum effect – a strategy to win.


Rest assured that our reps and officers are thrashing out a strategy. This will be conveyed to all members at the appropriate time. In the meantime, you can help by spreading the word about these sackings and about the excellent ballot result, and ensure that ALL our colleagues are ready and willing to take part in the battle ahead. This is a fight we cannot afford to lose.

 

Ballot result exceeds ‘Boris Test’

 

No doubt our enemies in the Mayor’s office and the media will tell the world how wrong it is that our union can win a mandate for strike action on a 46% turnout. Nice try, but here is the logical conclusion to that line of argument:

 

Boris Johnson should not have been allowed to become London Mayor (turnout for 2008 Mayoral election was 45%);
The Conservatives should not be in a position to form a government (only 36% of those who voted in the 2010 General Election voted for them);
Local councils would cease to exist (since 1996, the average turnout in council elections is 35.4%)

The fact is that the turnout in our ballot was above average with a majority of nearly 2 to 1 for strike action. That is a sound mandate which, as we have shown, not only exceeds the ‘Boris Test’, but has far greater democratic legitimacy than this government of the rich and privileged forcing its austerity agenda on the people of this country.

 

Management Clampdown Coming your way? – We say no way!

 

However much you try to keep your head down and get through your shift, the oppressive breath of management is there, scorching the back of your neck. Eamonn and Arwyn’s sackings are not random: they are part of a management strategy to remove RMT from the workplace and, with it, any resistance to what they want to do to you. This can be seen in the latest initiatives such as ‘valuing time’, chasing drivers for as little as 30-second delays, asking for memos for the most trivial of things including making PAs, and asking for almost hourly updates when you are sick. They are also breaking every procedure in the book.

 

This includes their invented and unagreed attendance target of 96% and their constant changing of the SPAD policy to satisfy their latest whim. With big brother looking at you from CCTVs, black boxes, secret shoppers and overzealous duty managers, you will soon need a barcode in your neck to book on! Matters that used to be dealt with locally are sent to CDIs, leading to more and more drivers being sacked, whilst they cut pool operators and make it harder to get spare days’ annual leave, and make you go for hospital appointments in your own time. The list goes on. It is time to show management that whatever union you are in you want to be treated with respect. Such respect will only come when they start respecting your union, so supporting the upcoming strikes for Eamonn and Arwyn is not only right from the point of view of fighting two unfair dismissals – in the long run you will also be helping the union make your life better at work and make sure you are not the next victim.

Visit http://www.rmtlondoncalling.org.uk/

 

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