Our Ref: B/15/10
2 October 2020
LOSS OF NATIONAL EXPRESS CONTRACT – GO SOUTH COAST
You will know that your union has been involved in discussions with Lucketts over the transfer of a number of staff working on the National Express Contract that was previously operated by Go South Coast.
All had seemed to be going smoothly with the transfer of members to the new operators until just this week when Lucketts dropped the bombshell to your RMT negotiators that the recognition agreement which was in place with Go South Coast would not be transferring along with the work, in contravention of normal practice in such circumstances.
It can be the case that where a small number of workers are taken over by a larger employer and the new members of staff are absorbed into the wider workforce, then it may be argued that the new group take on all the agreements that are already in place at the new employer. But that is not the case here as Lucketts had already stated quite clearly that those involved in this transfer will continue to carry out National Express work under the same guise as they did at Go South Coast. Not only that, but Lucketts management only notified your union of its move at the last minute, actually on the eve of the transfer itself.
I know that RMT members involved in this transfer will be alarmed at this turn of events as the refusal to honour the recognition agreement puts our members at risk of future attacks on their jobs, pay and conditions. In fact, at the same time as notifying your union that the recognition agreement would not be transferring, Lucketts management stated that they had already identified a number of roles at risk of redundancy, so the attacks on our members has already begun.
Your union however will not side idly by while these attacks take place as safeguarding our members’ employment rights is paramount and your union’s National Executive Committee has stated that RMT will do everything in its power to maintain recognition with all our resources.
Your NEC has therefore instructed me to seek a legal opinion with regards to the matter of the company refusing to honour this agreement. Additionally, the NEC has also instructed me to assist your Regional Organiser and reps in mounting a campaign to organise and recruit at Lucketts in order to maintain RMT recognition.
As I state above, your union will do all in its power to force Lucketts to honour agreements that should be subject of a transfer when a TUPE process takes place and RMT will strive to ensure your rights are defended.
I will provide you with further information as the campaign at Lucketts proceeds, but I trust this keeps you fully advised of all recent developments.