RESTRUCTURING PROPOSALS, CARRIAGE CLEANERS - STADLER RAIL UK MERSEYRAIL CONTRACT

Our Ref: BR4/15/4

21st September 2021

TO ALL MEMBERS AT STADLER RAIL UK (MERSEYRAIL CONTRACT)

Dear Colleagues,

RESTRUCTURING PROPOSALS, CARRIAGE CLEANERS - STADLER RAIL UK (MERSEYRAIL CONTRACT)

I write to advise you that your lead officer, accompanied by your representatives, attended ACAS talks at the end of last week to try to resolve the current dispute with Stadler. The meeting lasted over 4 hours at which point talks broke down without agreement.

Your lead officer reports that the main sticking point is that within the proposals individually offered to staff in the fire and rehire process, which they said they could table at ACAS for collective consideration, the working week increases from the current 36 hour week to a proposed 40 hour week. Members will recall that the offer from March, which was unanimously rejected by members in a referendum, was to reduce the working week from 36 hours to 35 hours to align the cleaners with the rest of the workforce, who agreed to be restructured as part of the company’s “TARA” modernisation process.

During discussions we offered major concessions in order to reach a collectively negotiated position we could recommend. In previous talks we negotiated a new 30 minute paid meal break replacing the current 20 minute unpaid break. In ACAS discussions we proposed incorporating this into the working week, giving a 38.5 hour week. This was rejected by Stadler who refused to budge a centimetre all day.

The company broke off the talks saying they were returning to the individual consultation process with an extended deadline. This means that Carriage Cleaner members will have until Thursday 23rd September 2021 to sign up to the fire and rehire contract offer and be paid notice pay to buy out their existing contract. Unfortunately, with the ballot for industrial action failing to meet the anti - trade union thresholds we cannot call industrial action in time to combat this appalling corporate bullying of staff.

Prior to Thursday’s deadline, Carriage Cleaner members will be called in by managers to sign the new contract. We have produced a pro forma for members to print, sign and hand to the manager making clear you are signing under duress. This can be found HERE

In addition to the above I will be writing to the Managing Director of Merseyrail, the Metro Mayor and the Chair of the Merseytravel committee condemning the use of such corporate bullying tactics. Stadler’s actions to force hero workers such as yourselves back forty years to a 40 hour working week are utterly shameful and will continue to be resisted by RMT in any way possible.

Members will be kept fully informed of any developments.

Yours sincerely


Michael Lynch
General Secretary