Our Ref: BR4/9/8

28 November 2019

Dear colleague


You will know that the RMT has been in discussions with Story management following the company’s intention to cut your hourly rates as well as your weekly hours.

As I have said in previous communications to you and your colleagues, RMT acted fast when being informed of management’s moves in this matter. Not only did your union declare an official dispute with Story and advising the company that a ballot of our members would be held, but we also raised the matter with Network Rail as the problem arose when it had reduced midweek access to the railway network.

These quick actions led to Story initially withdrawing the proposals temporarily to allow negotiations to take place at which they allowed, for the first time, RMT officials to represent members in those talks. A number of meetings took place and reports I received from your official suggest they were carried out amicably and in a mutually respectful manner. It has also been noted that the representatives who had been elected at the various workplaces led these discussions by great example and forcibly put forward their views as to why morale among the general workforce was so low in recent months.

Management did listen to the points made by the negotiating committee and took on board the concerns of the workforce and also accepted that RMT was not in the business of taking our members out on strike where issues did not demand it.

With the company then stating that it would continue negotiations and that the original proposals to alter your contracts were now withdrawn completely and that the negotiating body would reconvene in three months to review the situation, your representatives recommended that the dispute be declared resolved.

This recommendation has been endorsed by your union’s National Executive Committee, which has also put on record its thanks to your Regional Organiser Gordon Martin and your representatives for reaching such a solution and for the tireless work carried out in this matter and the increase in RMT membership at the company in recent weeks. I would, of course, add my thanks to those of the NEC.

With a membership of over 80 at Story now – from having around 20 members just a few weeks ago – the next step will be to secure a formal recognition agreement with Story that will allow a structured relationship between RMT and the company and see the formal recognition of representatives and officials who will be led by the wishes of you and your colleagues. I will of course keep you advised of all developments in this process.

For now, I would just like to thank you again for your support for RMT during this dispute and hopefully showing you in return that when our members need to call on their union for backing, we will not hesitate in providing it.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary