Our Ref: BR2/4/4
TO ALL SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY MEMBERS
19th March 2018
NEC TO CONSIDER BALLOTING ALL SWR MEMBERS OVER MANAGEMENTS BLATANT FAILURE TO ADHERE TO DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES
BREACH OF DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY
I write in relation to the above matter and further to my previous correspondence dated 8th January 2018. As you are aware a resolution was received from our Dorset Rail Branch highlighting the company’s misuse of the disciplinary procedures and that as a result a companywide dispute now existed between our two organisations.
This matter has been raised by our Lead Officer who has highlighted a number of further issues that have risen since this was first brought to our attention. It is utterly appalling that South Western Railway think it is ok to blatantly misuse the disciplinary procedures and ignore longstanding agreements that have been in place before SWR was awarded the franchise. There is no coincidence that these issues were never a problem with the previous franchise holders, but since the new company has taken over, and their plans to bulldoze through DOO has taken full force, abuses of the disciplinary procedures are increasing.
Furthermore, the company dishing out punishments that are disproportionate to any supposed charges. It is despicable that the company are refusing to address any questions raised by the union and our representatives. We have questioned the validity and accuracy of disciplinary minutes that we feel are not a true record of the hearings. We have questioned the impartiality of the hearing officers and what we feel are conflicts of interests. All we are getting back is a stock answers suggesting we raise the issues at appeal hearings. Small comfort for our members and an obvious injustice.
South Western Railway has shown nothing but contempt for you and your colleagues. Their treatment of their staff is abhorrent and they are blatantly ignoring your welfare. SWR has a clear duty of care to you and your colleagues and have a responsibility to ensure that all procedures are carried out fairly and correctly.
The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and believes that the poor treatment of you and your colleagues is totally unacceptable. Therefore, the NEC has instructed me to advise the company that they must abide by the agreed procedures and that the members who have been dismissed using incorrect procedures and tainted evidence should now be fully reinstated at their appeal hearings. Furthermore, in-line with the NEC decision I have advised the company that should they continue with their intimidating and reckless behaviour then we will consider balloting every member working for SWR over the company’s failure to follow the correct process.
Therefore, to ensure a swift ballot, should the need for one arise, membership checks are currently underway. I urge you all to ensure your details are correct. If your job title, address or workplace has recently changed, please contact the RMT Freephone Helpline number on 0800 376 3706, the RMT switchboard on 0207 387 4771 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to update your details. I trust this keeps you fully advised and I will inform you of any further developments on this issue when they arise.