5 September 2014
Conductors, North Wales – Arriva Trains Wales
Our Ref: BR2/14/2
4th September 2014
BREAKDOWN IN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, CONDUCTORS, NORTH WALES – ARRIVA TRAINS WALES
I am writing to you regarding the treatment of your colleagues Brothers William Coulter and Barry Roberts who have been dismissed by Arriva Trains Wales under the company’s sickness absence policy. Brother Coulter who is a Conductor based at Llandudno Junction and Brother Roberts a Conductor based at Holyhead, have both been dismissed under similar circumstances and it the belief of this union that management has deliberately rushed through their procedures to ensure that they were both dismissed. In Brother Roberts’ case, management did not inform him that his absence had reached an unacceptable level and therefore he was not given the opportunity to improve his attendance levels.
ATW management are behaving disgracefully, they have shown themselves to be totally uncaring, unsympathetic and insensitive from start to finish and their only interest has been kicking Brothers Coulter and Roberts out of the door. This is not a situation that can go unchallenged as this is a shocking abuse of power demonstrated by management. Your union believes that these cases represent as a direct attack on Conductor/Guards who are suffering from poor health and that and this heavy handed approach constitutes a breakdown in industrial relations at Chester, Holyhead and Llandudno Junction depots.
The union’s executive committee has had opportunity to consider this matter and has instructed me conduct a ballot of all Conductor/Guard members at Chester, Holyhead and Llandudno Junction for strike action and industrial action short of a strike. In line with the executive committee’s decision, ballot papers will be despatched to your home addresses on Thursday 11th September 2014 and the ballot will close on Thursday 25th September 2014. I have informed ATW that RMT remains available for talks and I hope that management will see sense and take the necessary steps to resolve this dispute. In the meantime, I urge you to vote ‘YES’ for strike action and ‘YES’ for industrial action short of a strike.
If you do not receive a ballot paper or are aware of a colleague that does not receive a ballot paper then please contact the RMT Helpline on 0800 376 3706 by midday on Monday 22nd September 2014.
Furthermore, members are invited to attend special Branch meetings, which have been arranged to discuss the current situation. I can confirm that the following meetings have been scheduled:-
Holyhead: 6pm on Tuesday 9th September 2014 at the Ex-Servicemen’s Club, 97 Market Street, Holyhead LL65 1UW.
Chester: 4pm on Wednesday 10th September 2014 at the Town Crier (upstairs), City Road, Chester CH1 3AE (opposite Chester station).
Llandudno: 8pm on Wednesday 10th September 2014 at the Labour & Social Club, Brickfield Terrace, Llandudno Junction LL31 9NG.
I would like to encourage all members to attend these very important meetings.
I will, of course, keep you fully advised on any further developments.
Acting General Secretary