Our Ref: BR1/14/8
19th July 2019
SAFETY OF CLEANING STAFF, CHANGE TO WORKING PRACTICES, CARMARTHEN – AXIS (TFW CONTRACT)
Following a resolution from our Carmarthen Branch, it has come to my attention that Transport for Wales (TfW) are forcing AXIS to make wholesale changes to you and your colleagues roles without any form of consultation or agreement with your union.
I am deeply concerned that AXIS management has directly approached members and informed them that they will be attending medicals in Cardiff and will have to attend a short PTS course. I understand that this is so you will have competencies to go onto the track at night in the Carmarthen depot to clean the windscreens of stabled trains, in dangerous underfoot conditions. I have advised the company that there are no proper walkways or lighting in these areas and they are littered with obstacles and trailing water hoses. As I am sure you are aware, Carmarthen is a busy station and working environment with trains constantly being shunted, arriving and departing 24 hours a day.
Additionally, I have raised concerns with the company over the level of night-time noise. The noises produced from the engines that are constantly running on the stabled units are well above safe levels. It has also been brought to the union’s attention that other grades have been issued with specialist hearing protection, but, none are being considered for cleaners who work in the same environment. This is also concerns over air quality, where the constant breathing of diesel fumes with no protection is a cause for serious concern.
The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and has instructed me to take this issue up with AXIS and TfW. Therefore, I have asked that both companies adequately resolve our concerns by Friday 26th July 2019, if I do not receive an adequate response by Friday then your union will have no choice but to enter into dispute with AXIS and TfW.
I trust this keeps you fully advised and I will write to you again once I have received further information.