Our Ref: BR2/16/3
17th July 2020
REDUNDANCIES – HEATHROW EXPRESS
Further to my previous correspondence on the above issue, you will be aware that in addition to the redundancies already announced, HEX has announced that it will be permanently closing its revenue control centre and has notified the union that 8 revenue control assistants are now identified as being in scope of redundancy.
Your Lead Officer and newly co-opted RCA representative have since met with Heathrow Express to discuss the closure of the revenue control centre. During these discussions the union sought suitable alternative employment options for our members that have been identified as being in scope for redundancy. After strong representation from your union, the company has advised that they will provide a proposal that offers suitable alternative employment opportunities when they meet your union representatives on the 17th July 2020 that will remove the need for redundancy.
The key commitments and summary of the meeting is as follows:
The revenue control centre will permanently close as a result of the business decision to go cashless; as a result the Revenue Control Assistant grade (RSA) will be made redundant in October 2020.
HEX will prioritise redeployment as a first option and will report back on potential options for suitable alternative employment within HEX and then within Heathrow Airport at the next meeting on the 17th July 2020.
As a second option HEX will make available Voluntary Redundancy at the same terms as offered to Concierge and Mobile Sales Advisor grades, expression of interest to be sought and concluded by 21st July 2020.
As a last option those who cannot obtain redeployment will leave with the same redundancy terms (excluding pension and PILON variables) in October2020.
HEX will provide preference for 1-2-1 or group consultation at a later date, consultation will last at least 30 days.
A report will be put back on Travel Benefit contractual terms and furlough situation at the next meeting.
The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and following these commitments from the company has instructed me to advise HEX that we continue to dispute compulsory redundancies. I will also be advising HEX that the union demands they allow the developing redeployment process to take place without the threat of redundancy.
Separately to these discussions the issue relating to the imposed reorganisation of our CC and MSA grades into a single Sales & Service Ambassadors (SSA) grade was discussed. The company has invited the union to meet to revise the existing bargaining machinery to reflect the new grading structure. This will allow the union to properly elect new representatives. The company has also confirmed that they will agree to meet and review the SSA commission structure after 9 months as opposed to the planned 12 month review.
However, your union continues to dispute the unfair imposition of the single SSA Grade and the current imposed rosters. At every stage of discussions the union has taken careful legal consideration of events. The RMT will continue to provide legal support to you and your colleagues and, where we find the opportunity to do so, the union will escalate all matters through our legal channels. There is no doubt that HEX is using the current crisis as a cost cutting exercise and is taking every opportunity to inflate their profit margins. However, your RMT union is fully committed in our continued fight against an unscrupulous employer in extraordinary circumstances.
Furthermore, I am aware of contractual discrepancies that were brought to light during the mass meeting of you and your colleagues. The NEC has instructed me to seek legal advice and obtain a legal opinion on these discrepancies. I will keep you all advised on this situation when more information is available.
In light of these changes we will be seeking new RMT representatives and I would encourage any one who has a desire to defend their working conditions and colleagues to consider standing as a representative. As a union rep you represent and provide your colleagues with individual and collective support on a range of issues. Representatives are the true backbone of the union and you would provide a vital link between the members, the employer and the union. You would also play a vital role in discussions such as reorganisations and other workplace issues. I would encourage anyone who is thinking of becoming an RMT Rep to strongly consider standing in any upcoming election. If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a workplace representative you can do so by clicking https://www.tuc.org.uk/union-reps
I understand that this is a lot of information to take on-board in one go and the union is doing everything possible to ensure you and your colleagues are fully represented during these issues. Once I have received further information on the above matters I will write to you all again providing a further update.