3 November 2014
RMT Press Office
Staff employed by the Settle and Carlisle Railway Development Company - providing at-seat catering on Northern Rail services between Carlisle and Settle - are to be balloted for strike action later this week in a row over the compulsory redundancy of a long standing member of staff who manages the service.
The union described the redundancy announcement as an “extremely disappointing development” as RMT has a proud history being involved in the campaign to save the line and of supporting the development of the line and initiatives to see it grow. RMT has been extremely supportive of the trolley catering service because the union knows it enhances the passenger experience of the journey.
RMT says that there is no justification for the redundancy as the development company is doing well financially and its key objective as a "not for profit organisation" is encourage sustainable commercial development.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The last thing we expected was a compulsory redundancy situation - it seems the companies actions are at odds with their stated objectives leading them into a regrettable and wholly avoidable dispute with Britain's biggest rail union.
“Astonishingly the company has sited potential rail franchise changes in 2016 as a reason for the compulsory redundancy now- when the specifications for the rail franchises will not be known until December 2014 and the franchises will not actually be let for some considerable time afterwards.
“Despite numerous requests to look at alternatives to compulsory redundancy the company has now made one of our members redundant. In these circumstances RMT has no option but to ballot our members for strike action. The union remains available for further talks.”