Circular No: IR/470/20
Our Ref: BR1/16/3

18 November 2020

To: Branches, Regional Councils & Regional Offices

Dear colleague


RMT has adopted a policy on fighting redundancies and attacks on pay and conditions, arising from the Covid 19 crisis. I have attached a copy of this policy for your attention.

The policy makes clear that RMT should, at all times, seek to resist all attacks on members. RMT does not accept that workers should pay for the costs of the Covid pandemic.

At this time there will be enormous pressure on members from the bosses, government and media to act in what is their idea of the national interest. In reality, they want us to accept job cuts and deterioration in pay and conditions in their interest.

The starting point in any redundancy situation must be to use whatever industrial and political options are available to oppose redundancies. Your union must signal to all employers that RMT will not accept the inevitability of job cuts. RMT will encourage members to resist job cuts using industrial action wherever possible.

As in any industrial negotiation, officers must act as they and our reps believe is appropriate taking account of our strength and the wishes of those members involved. Your NEC cannot state in advance of an industrial struggle what it would or would not be appropriate to agree with the employer.

Your NEC has also noted the particular problems faced by members working for ‘open access’ rail operators. These operators are not receiving the same emergency funding as standard TOCs and may not be running a service. Similarly, we note the difficulties faced by members working for sub-contractors to the TOCs and Network Rail.

Your NEC has therefore instructed me to approach the RICF, TOCs, NR and DfT to seek an industry wide “No compulsory redundancy” agreement. Further, your NEC also calls on me to instruct lead officers to seek similar agreements, unless an agreement already exists, with all individual employers in the rail sector.

Progress towards these objectives will be monitored by the NEC special sub-committee on fighting redundancies. Consideration will be given to initiating individual disputes with any employer who fails to give an acceptable guarantee of no compulsory redundancies, with any such disputes co-ordinated on a national basis to the greatest extent possible.

I will keep you fully advised of all developments in this matter in due course.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary