FUTURE OF CATERING WITHIN THE WALES AND BORDERS FRANCHISE

Our Ref: HC/15/10

18th October 2018

Dear Colleague,

FUTURE OF CATERING WITHIN THE WALES AND BORDERS FRANCHISE

I have received information from our Lead Officer on the above matter. Unfortunately, Rail Gourmet has continued with their hostile and dismissive approach to these discussions. The TUPE of you and your colleagues from At Seat Catering to Rail Gourmet is being conducted in a callous and malicious way.

I would like to reiterate my previous letter’s sentiments and remind you that during meetings with management, they should not be asking you questions that are intimidating and provocative. If management ask if you’re in the union, you do not have to disclose this information if you don’t want to.

The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and has instructed me to inform the company that we are now in dispute. I have also informed the company that we find the following issues unacceptable:-

Use of Kronos Finger Printing Technology – The union rejects any imposition of new technology without proper negotiation, consultation and collective agreement with the union.

Changes from weekly pay – The union does not accept a change to four weekly pay and that we seek an immediate return to weekly pay. This is also compounded by the fact that Rail Gourmet are declining to make loans to staff non-repayable.

Rail Gourmet’s lack of meaningful negotiation and consultation – RMT has raised serious concerns with the company over their blatant disdain and lack of commitment to meaningful negotiation with your union. The union has raised a number of safety concerns over issue such as, new trolleys, new uniforms and new technology.

Reneging on Holiday Accrued from Overtime – The collective agreement entitled you and your colleague’s payment and no change has been agreed to the agreement. Therefore, we have informed Rail Gourmet that the present agreement must remain and any change will be considered by the unions National Executive Committee.

Lack of the Living Wage – Rail Gourmet has failed to provide any clarification or commitment that they will be applying the living wage increase in November 2018, when these new rates are published.

A change to Policies, Procedures and Handbooks – Rail Gourmet has stated that they intend to consult on any changes made to these documents. However, the company has conducted these discussions in an abrasive and dismissive manner, with no consideration for proper negotiations. We have informed the company that any proposed changes will need to be properly discussed and negotiated under collective bargaining and that change can only be made once it has been agreed by the union.

As always, the company has been advised that we are readily available to meet and discuss these issues in order to find a meaningful resolution to this dispute and the concerns raised. Please rest assured that the union will continue to fight for your terms and conditions and will do everything possible to ensure Rail Gourmet abide by these agreements. The union will not allow Rail Gourmet to bully and intimidate you. However, the union is only as strong as its members and if you know a colleague who isn’t in the union, ask them to join, so we can fight for them as well.

Therefore, to ensure a swift ballot, should the need for one arise, membership checks are currently underway. I urge you all to ensure your membership details are correct in preparation for any ballot. If your job title, address or workplace has recently changed, then please contact the RMT Freephone Helpline number on 0800 376 3706, the RMT switchboard on 0207 387 4771 and ask to speak to the Industrial Relations Department or e-mail info@rmt.org.uk. Additionally, if you know a colleague who has moved or changed jobs ask them to contact one of the above numbers or e-mail and we will be able to amend their details and ensure a successful ballot.

I trust this keeps you fully advised on the issues and I will keep you informed on any matters that follow.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary