Our Ref: BR2/16/3
27th March 2018
VOLUNTARY REDUNDANCY, REVENUE PROTECTION EAST REGION – GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY
I write in relation to the above matter and further to a report received from our Lead Officer following a recent meeting of the On-Trains Divisional Council.
The company tabled a proposal during the meeting which stated that they are seeking up to 20 volunteers for redundancies from the Revenue Protection Grade in the East Region. The company believe that these proposals will enable them to make efficiency improvements as they state that technology is improving and that this grade will dramatically change. Great Western Railway also made the union aware that whilst there would be a reduction of the headcount in the Revenue Protect Grades there would be an increase in the Catering Grades and within other areas of the franchise.
It is our concern that these 20 voluntary redundancy proposals may be in response to the alleged financial challenges and may indicate a serious level of problems being experienced by the company.
Additionally, as you may be aware, GWR recently issued redundancy notices to over 100 managers due to financial challenges being faced by the business.
The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and is most concerned about these proposals and the report regarding GWR being in serious financial difficulty. The NEC has instructed me to arrange an urgent meeting with the company to discuss the financial problems faced by the company.
Furthermore, the NEC has been made aware that a number of members are being ‘pressured’ into feeling the need to apply for these redundancies. As you are aware, the union has a strong opposition to any form of redundancy or loss of jobs and finds these proposals totally unacceptable. Also, members should not feel pressured to sign up to anything they are not comfortable with and the pressure applied to staff is appalling. Voluntary redundancy is exactly that, voluntary.
The union remains vigilant on these issues and I trust this keeps you fully advised on the current situation. I will inform you of any further developments on this issue when they arise.