3 June 2016
ARRIVA TRAINS WALES
Our Ref: BR2/5/1
3rd June 2016
ILL HEALTH SEVERANCE, A. ESPOSITO, GUARD – ARRIVA TRAINS WALES
It has come to my attention that our Brother Anthony Esposito, a Guard working for Arriva Trains Wales, has been subject to appalling and uncompassionate treatment from the company he has provided many years of loyal service to.
Brother Esposito was involved in a train collision in December 2011 whilst carrying out his guard duties. The train collided with a hay lorry on a level crossing throwing Anthony to the floor where he sustained serious injuries. Brother Esposito, despite his own agonising injuries, continued to care for the passengers and ensuring that no one was severely injured, offering any assistance and providing a safe and reassuring presence to the worried passengers, until the emergency services arrived.
Understandably, Brother Esposito had a recovery period off work, on his return to guard duties he struggled with the movement of the train and was in constant debilitating pain. This caused Arriva Trains Wales occupational health to declare our Brother permanently unfit to perform safety critical roles, however, he was declared fit to carry out other roles within the company, such as a booking officer, barrier work and dispatch.
Despite Brother Esposito’s displayed a clear commitment to work and dedication to be redeployed within the business, yet, the company have acted in a vicious and heartless way. Arriva Trains Wales has served our Brother with a 12 week termination notice on the grounds that the accident was not the fault of the company and therefore they were not responsible to try and look for a new role or look after him. This is highly unacceptable and raises serious cause for concern that the company might treat all employees this way if we allow them to get away with this injustice.
Our union representatives have met with the company to try and find a resolution and get Brother Esposito reinstated into a suitable position. However, these talks have not progressed and the company are refusing to provide any assurances. In light of this appalling treatment our National Executive Committee has recently considered this case and has instructed me to seek cast iron assurances from Arriva Trains Wales that station roles:
• Remain an opportunity for station and other grades that become restricted.
• ATW abides by the current procedures.
• Staff that are dismissed under capability need to have right of appeal in writing.
• Notice is only issued if alternative work is unavailable after an agreed reasonable time of looking.
Therefore, until the company provide us with these assurances and until our Brother is reinstated to a suitable role, we will be balloting you and your colleagues for strike action and industrial action short of strike. We must stand together and show the company that their callous actions will not be tolerated. The necessary data checks are almost complete and we will be informing the company of our intentions imminently. However, if your details are not up-to-date please ensure you update them immediately by contacting the RMT Helpline on 0800 376 3706, so you can support your fellow brothers and sisters in standing up to this companies unfair treatment and heartless tactics.
I will of course keep you fully advised of any further developments.
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