Our Ref: BR1/13/1
4 April 2019
FLEET DEPOT STRATEGY, WALES AND BORDERS FRANCHISE, KEOLIS AMEY
It was agreed at a recent meeting between RMT reps from Canton, Holyhead and Machynlleth depots, your Regional Organiser and myself that we seek a meeting with Transport for Wales (Rail Services) and the Welsh government to outline concerns raised by our Fleet members over their future. In particular, we were seeking agreement on retaining the work and staff in house with no transfer to CAF and Stadler.
The meeting with the employers and government has taken place and I have to report a very disappointing outcome as there was not only a failure to give assurances on keeping staff in house but we also received a bombshell on pensions as Keolis/Amey said it had negotiated with CAF and Stadler a £22.5 million saving on Fleet workers’ pensions over the 15 year franchise.
Your National Executive Committee has therefore considered this matter and declared a dispute situation on this matter over the following issues:
• Failure to meaningfully consult or reach collective agreement with RMT over the use of contract labour in Maintenance depots
• Failure to negotiate a harmonisation terms and conditions package and a 35-hour week for Fleet workers in response to the RMT pay claim for 2018
• Failure to give a guarantee to RMT members employed in Fleet that they will be able to retain their employment contract within TfW RS and not be subject to detriment by being transferred to CAF or Stadler
• Failure to give a clear or satisfactory response to our concerns over future job security, pensions, travel facilities, pay, terms and conditions and two-tier workforces
The meeting with TfW Rail Services and the government body TfW was an opportunity for both organisations to give a clear commitment on these matters and that staff would remain within the franchise. They quite clearly failed to do so.
I have no doubt that you and your colleagues will be shocked and disturbed by this news and will be in support of the decision to enter a dispute situation and commence a ballot for industrial action as this looks like the only way to defend our members’ interests.
We need assurances on your future employment status within the franchise. We need assurances on your pay, pensions, travel facilities, terms and conditions and no two-tier workforces. That is why we need all Fleet depots to be behind us and all Fleet workers to be in the RMT. That is why I would urge you to ensure that any of your colleagues who are not yet in RMT join today. Your jobs and pensions are facing attack and it needs a 100% response from your union and 100% support from the workforce for our campaign.
We are asking you and your colleagues not to stand on the sidelines on this fight. Look out for your ballot papers in the near future and deliver a message to Keolis/Amey and the Welsh government that they cannot take the workforce for granted.
I have written to Transport for Wales over this matter and we shall of course consider any reasonable offer of dispute resolution. But, in the meantime, we need to ensure everyone is prepared for a fight over this matter. Please ensure your union has all your correct details with regards to your address, job and location information. Contact the union’s freephone Helpline as soon as possible on 0800 376 3706 if your details have changed recently.
I will of course keep you advised of all further developments in this matter as they arise.