25th January 2019
Our Ref: HC/0001/RG
Rates of Pay and Conditions of Service 2019 - Rail Gourmet
I am writing in relation to the above matter and to advise you of the upcoming campaign to secure pay justice at Rail Gourmet. As you will be aware, pay at Rail Gourmet has not kept pace with the rest of the rail industry. Whilst your colleagues’ working for Network Rail and the Train Operating Companies have enjoyed pay rises that have kept in line with inflation; Rail Gourmet wages have stagnated with some employees only receiving the statutory National Minimum Wage. Whilst it would be very easy to point fingers as to why this is the case and to provide you with a long list of excuses as to why the situation has been allowed to fester; it is not the intention of the RMT to dwell on past but instead to formulated a new policy to tackle low pay at Rail Gourmet.
It is the aspiration of the RMT that no employee at Rail Gourmet should be paid less than the Foundation Living Wage (currently £9.00 per hour and £10.55 per hour in London). Although the RMT negotiates with Rail Gourmet on a national basis, this does not reflect the current composition of the company, which is divided up into separate contracts. The reality of this is that there is a mixture of different pay rates across the company depending on which Train Operator contracts you. For instance, employees working on the TransPennine Express contract earn significantly more than the employees working on the London North Eastern Railway contract, even though in some cases they are working in the same locations. Therefore, the RMT will now attempt to deal with pay negotiations on a contract by contract basis. However, it is still our objective to ensure that all Rail Gourmet members are paid the same wages for the same jobs.
It has long been the case that in any pay negotiations Rail Gourmet has claimed that ‘it is ultimately the Train Operating Companies that dictate the rate of pay’. Your union believes that this is a clear abdication of responsibility and seeks to muddy the water between client and contractor. In order to ensure that our pay review is dealt with in more efficient manner, the RMT has not just written to Rail Gourmet outlining this union’s aspirations, the union has also written to the relevant Train Operating Companies directing them to assist your union in perusing pay justice.
These are just some of the measures that the RMT is employing in an effort to mount an effective pay campaign at Rail Gourmet. However, this union cannot act in isolation and I urge you to get involved if you can. This involves attending Branch and special members meetings when necessary. Also, if you have a colleague who is not an RMT member, then I would be grateful if you could persuade them to join this union. Special Rail Gourmet newsletters will be circulated in the future in order to provide you with updates on the campaign and notify you of any special members meetings.
I trust this keeps you fully advised and I will inform you of any further developments should they arise.