Big vote for action in dispute with Serco Caledonian Sleeper

Big vote for action in dispute with Serco Caledonian Sleeper

15 December 2015

RMT Press Office:

RMT announces big vote for action in dispute with Serco Caledonian Sleeper.

RMT members on the Caledonian Sleeper, in a dispute with new operator Serco, have voted by nine to one for both strike action and action short of a strike, the union confirmed today.

Despite numerous between RMT negotiators and senior company management over the last few months progress has not been made on the raft of issues in the dispute which left RMT with no choice other than to proceed to ballot members over the company's failure to address the number of defects contained within the rolling stock. That ballot has now delivered a resounding vote for action.

The result will now be considered by the union’s executive.
The union says that some of the defects are potentially dangerous to the staff on board and the travelling public who are paying top dollar prices for a service which is unreliable, increasingly uncomfortable and riddled with health, safety and welfare issues.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"The poor service to passengers, in conjunction with the company's failure to address the issues raised by RMT representatives and officials in recent talks, reached the point where the union decided enough is enough and left us with no option but to ballot for industrial action before someone is injured. That ballot has now recorded a massive vote for action and that mandate will be considered by the union’s executive.
"The sleeper franchise was awarded to Serco by the Scottish Government and the multi-national privateer took over from First Group on March 31st this year. Our members have been unhappy with Serco's management of the iconic service from Scotland to London since the very early days of them taking on this fifteen year franchise. This is yet another example of Serco winning public sector contracts and failing to deliver for the tax payer, passengers and staff. "
"Serco is a company who are specialists in failure when it comes to public sector contracts and RMT has no intention of allowing them to get away with compromising the safety of staff and passengers on the sleeper service. The union will announce its next moves shortly and remains available for meaningful talks."
Note to editors:
The catalogue of SERCO failures on the sleeper services
Health safety and welfare issues include;
•         Smoke detectors disconnected, toilets being inoperable , lighting and heating systems not working.
•         Air conditioning problems throughout the summer which left passengers sweltering in the sleeping berths.
•         No hot water in some coaches for hand washing purposes. Water boilers not working which means staff need to go to other coaches to fill containers with boiling water which then has to be carried through coaches while train is moving.
•         Pungent smell from toilets and an issue with batteries under some coaches also giving off a strong smell.
•         Loss of power in coaches during journeys which means staff have to find alternative accommodation during the night for irate passengers.
•         Serious  problem with a huge number of wheel flats which has led to some services being completely cancelled and passengers being bussed from Scotland to London.
•         There are currently over 200 defects on these trains ( not including the wheel flats).



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Tagged with: serco, caledonian sleeper