BREAKDOWN IN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS – FREIGHTLINER HEAVY HAUL


TO ALL FREIGHTLINER HEAVY HAUL DRIVERS

Our Ref BR3/14/2

5th September 2017


Dear Colleague

BREAKDOWN IN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS – FREIGHTLINER HEAVY HAUL
RMT RE ENTER A TRADE DISPUTE
DRIVERS TO BE BALLOTED FOR INDUSTRIAL ACTION

At the beginning of August the RMT went into dispute with Freightliner over the treatment of our Train Driver members. Disciplinary punishments were being used as the first response when mistakes were made rather than using the non-punitive competence development process (CPD). There were also cases where Drivers were being threatened with managing for attendance following accidents at work despite the fact that the infrastructure was at fault.

Following the company’s agreement to undertake a review of the disciplinary cases the union’s National Executive Committee took the decision to suspend the ballot for industrial action. However, it would appear that these issues remain unresolved. It has again been brought to my attention by your Union Representatives that Freightliner managers continue to maintain an aggressive attitude towards staff and that the disciplinary process continues to be used in a draconian manner.

As a result of this unacceptable situation, your union’s National Executive Committee has again considered the matter and taken the decision to re enter into a trade dispute with the company. Therefore, I can now advise you that our Freightliner Driver members will be balloted for strike action and industrial action short of a strike. Voting papers will be sent to your home address from Tuesday 12th September 2017 and the ballot will close on Tuesday 26th September 2017.

As you may be aware, the 2016 Trade Union Act was introduced from the 1st March 2017 by the Tory Government to make it even tougher for union’s to call industrial action. We already had some of the most draconian trade union laws in the world and this act has only served to make it even tougher for working people to seek justice and defend our interests.

The most important issues members now need to consider are the new thresholds that have been introduced:

•    Every ballot must now have a 50% turnout before industrial action can be taken.
•    On top of this, in essential public services such as the railways, 40% of all those eligible to vote must vote YES in order for us to be able to call action.
•    Every ballot ceases to be valid after 6 months.

So as you will appreciate it, it has never been more vital for a big turnout in the ballot for industrial action. I urge you and your colleagues to vote strongly in favour of strike action and action short of strike to send a clear message to management, that we will not tolerate such appalling treatment of our Driver members.

If you or any of your colleagues do not receive a voting paper by Tuesday 19th September 2017, please contact the RMT Helpline on 0800 376 3706 or by email info@rmt.org.uk and a replacement paper will be sent out to you by first class post.

UNITY IS STRENGTH
SUPPORT YOUR UNION


Best wishes

 
Mick Cash
General Secretary