Our Ref BR2/15/10
14th August 2019
TO ALL VIRGIN WEST COAST MEMBERS
TUPE TRANSFER - VIRGIN TRAINS WEST COAST TO FIRST/TRENITALIA
As you will have seen in the news today, the West Coast Mainline Franchise has been awarded to a consortium of First Group and Trenitalia. This means that in the near future you will be TUPE transferring over to the new company. As a recognised union we will be fully involved in the consultation process that will take place prior to any transfer and our priority is to ensure your jobs and terms and conditions are protected when the new franchise takes over. The following are some initial questions that we will be raising which may be added to during the course of discussions: -
• Will the existing train catering arrangements be either guaranteed or expanded including the current first class service levels and retention of the on board shops?
• There is a suggestion the Virgin Voyager Fleet will be replaced. If this is the case what will it be replaced with?
• Will the new operator guarantee the full safety role of the Guard with no reduction in current operational responsibilities, including the current despatch models and involvement in train door operation?
• Will they guarantee the continuation of all existing train crew and catering depot locations?
• Is it the intention of the new operator to continue using DHL for its stores supplies for train catering services? Do they envisage any change in the current operational models?
• Will they guarantee that ticket offices will be staffed, extended or at the very least maintained?
• Will the company guarantee existing staffing levels for front line station staff, despatch staff, shunters, directly employed cleaners and customer service staff as a minimum?
• What will be the relationship with Alstom in respect of Train Fleet maintenance?
• With regard to Leadec Cleaners is it envisaged that the current staffing levels will be maintained for on-train cleaning, depot cleaning and station turn around cleaning? Will there be any geographical changes in the locations where Cleaning is sourced?
• The Leadec contract is up for renewal via Alstom. When will staff be assured the franchise changes will not affect them in terms of employment security, depot locations etc.
Please be assured that you are our priority and we will be seeking firm commitments from First/Trenitalia on your jobs, roles and responsibilities, safety, security, terms and conditions, pension provision, levels of customer service and staffing. As soon as there is anything further to report I will write to members to ensure you are kept fully informed.