2 December 2021
RMT Press Office:
As Scottish Government challenged in parliament today over crisis on the Caledonian Sleeper RMT survey reveals widespread bullying and harassment culture at Serco Caledonian Sleeper.
As the Scottish Government was challenged in parliament today over crisis on the Caledonian Sleeper with a call for ministers to take action over bullying and harassment of staff at the Company, a new survey of RMT Caledonian Sleeper members reveals that the majority have felt harassed by management in the course of their work.
When challenged on the issue today in parliament by Richard Leonard the Minister called on the operator Serco to investigate the matter.
The survey of RMT Caledonian Sleeper members found that nearly 60% had felt harassed by Serco Caledonian Sleeper management at work and nearly half had felt bullied by management.
The survey also makes clear that the company’s internal processes are failing to protect staff from bullying and harassment at work, with a massive 75% of members stating they do not feel confident that the company’s procedure on reporting bullying can deal with allegations effectively.
RMT has already entered into a dispute with Serco Caledonian Sleeper over the company’s failure to address concerns regarding bullying and harassment of staff and is today demanding that the Scottish Government, which is fully funding the franchise, meets with RMT as a matter of urgency to discuss measures to bring about an end to the damaging bullying and harassment culture that has become entrenched at Caledonian Sleeper.
General Secretary Mick Lynch said:
“It is clear from the survey that Serco is presiding over a culture of bullying and harassment at the Caledonian Sleeper and RMT has serious concerns about the impact of this on our members safety and welfare.
It is also apparent that Serco’s internal policies have failed to address tackle these serious issues, and the overwhelming majority of RMT Caledonian Sleeper members do not have faith that any allegations they make will be taken seriously by the company.
The Scottish Government is fully funding the franchise and as well as calling on the company to investigate the matter as it has today Ministers need to take urgent action to hold the company to account for the culture of bullying and harassment that has developed at Caledonian Sleeper. Make no mistake RMT will take all steps necessary to protect the safety and wellbeing of its members at Caledonian Sleeper.”
Richard Leonard has today this morning asked a question in the Scottish Parliament about the Caledonian Sleeper franchise. In response to concerns about bullying and harassment, the Minister said he encouraged Serco to look into it in great detail.
The survey of RMT Serco Caledonian Sleeper members was carried out between 18th November 2021 and 1st December 2021. The full results are:
- 75% of RMT members do not feel confident that the Serco Caledonian Sleeper procedure on reporting bullying is able to deal with allegations effectively.
- 56% of RMT members have felt harassed by Serco Caledonian Sleeper management at work.
- 56% of RMT members have witnessed bullying or harassment towards other members of staff by Serco Caledonian Sleeper Management.
- 47% of RMT members have felt bullied by Serco Caledonian Sleeper management at work.
- Only a third of RMT members would feel comfortable reporting an allegation of bullying or harassment to Serco Caledonian Sleeper.
- 60% of RMT members do not have confidence that their managers are caring for their best interests.
- Two-thirds of RMT members do not feel supported at work by Serco Caledonian Sleeper management.
- Over 80% of RMT members have experienced work-related fatigue due to their working conditions.
Some comments provided in the survey include:
“There are unrealistic expectations placed on us regularly. If we can't carry out the impossible we are subject to harassment on a regular basis.”
“On more than one occasion I've been subject to harassment from management.”
“I witnessed hosts' and team leaders' line managers intimidating and shouting at on train staff for no good reason. Union reps seemed to be particularly targeted.”
“Yes, I have witnessed staff members being harassed by management in the past even for the most mundane things.”
“All grievances or reports of bullying are done in house by management therefore allegations towards management are never upheld. You will then be in a position where you could in turn be singled out and victimised for this”
“all reports on bullying of staff are swept under the carpet by management and the reportee is singled out covertly so that there are no witnesses”
“There is a system of harassment and intimidation from Serco Caledonian Sleeper management which has been active for at least four or five years”