Our Ref BR1/15/10
15th November 2019
TO ALL TRANSPORT FOR WALES AND AXIS (TFW CONTRACT) MEMBERS
FUTURE OF CATERING & CLEANING SERVICES WITHIN THE WALES AND BORDERS FRANCHISE
Further to previous correspondence we have been in discussions with Transport for Wales over the Catering and Cleaning Contracts which are operated by Rail Gourmet and Axis Cleaning Services respectively. TFW have stated on several occasions that their intention is to bring these contracts back in house within one year of them taking over the Wales and Borders Franchise.
Our position has been that if they fail to deliver on their promises by the 1 year anniversary of them taking over the franchise we would enter into dispute. In addition we have also raised with Transport for Wales and Keolis/Amey that the terms and conditions (sick pay etc) of these members should be reviewed improved so that they are comparable with directly employed staff.
As it stands we have had confirmation from Transport for Wales the positive news that the Rail Gourmet Contract will be TUPE transferred in houses. Consultation will take place under TUPE regulations in due course. However despite our giving them a deadline of 14th October 2019 no confirmation has been given that Axis cleaners will be brought in house and in fact the company has had their contract extended for another twelve months. Moreover we have received concerning information that that Axis have been asked by Keolis/Amey to give them a quote to supply all cleaning including station, platform and depot cleaning which is currently carried out by in house cleaning members.
On raising the matter further with TFW they stated they wanted the Catering Contract issue to be resolved before they would only sit down and talk with us about the cleaning contract in February 2020. In order to address this issue the National Executive Committee has instructed me to organise a meeting with our TFWRS Lead rep, 2nd Stage reps, Axis reps, relevant Branch Secretaries, the Lead Officer and the Senior AGS to discuss this matter. This meeting has been arranged and will take place on Thursday 28th November 2019.
In addition we are beginning a “Transport for Wales – Justice for Cleaners” Campaign. We will also be producing a recruitment newsletter which will show the disparity in treatment between directly employed and contract staff, particularly in relation to cleaners. Furthermore because of the complicated nature of this issue I am seeking an opinion on the legality of balloting members from TFWRS and Axis on this matter.
I will write to you again once there are any further developments to report.