Newsletter: October, 2008


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Newsletter: October, 2008

  1. 1. East London Rail Branch News Vol I, Issue 7 October 2008 0626 East London Rail Branch New s Email: Secretary: Ed Shine– 07940340128 Chair: Glenn Wallis – 07789791224 National Union of Rail, Maritime, & Transport Workers’ SPECIAL GENERAL SECRETARY: Bob Crow REVENUE P RO T E CT IO RESISTA NRE-INSTATE NCE EDITIONTHEM NOW!BAYMAN- CICIRELLO- GODDARD- LEES IGNORE THE RUMOURS… HERE ARE THE FACTSThe suspension, for two months So it is down to the RMT to putnow, of our colleagues, RPI’s the full story to our members,Keith Bayman, Charlie Cicirello, and in doing so, point out ex-Dave Goddard, and Rob Lees of actly WHO is behaving badly inNational Express East Anglia, this case.arose out of a criminal case at FACTSouthwark Crown Court. Since That NO criminal charges were CHARLIE CICIRELLOthen, rumours have abounded ever brought against these fourover their position, some people by the Police or the CPS as a At a public meeting on the 2ndeven taking the view that result of the original investiga- October, attended by RMT Gen-‘there’s no smoke without fire’, tion. eral Secretary Bob Crow, theor that the Company would not FACT President of the RMT Johntake such severe action if they That none of them were in any Leach, the Lead Officer & Re-had not done something wrong. way criticised or doubted by the gional Organiser Bob Rayner,This point of view, although Judge hearing the case. and Council of Executives mem-wrong, is almost understandable FACT ber Derrick Marr, the true factssince the management have That not even the Company has were publicised, and what theynever explained themselves over ever suggested they were in- said is re-printed inside: ALANthe matter, and allowed misin- volved in any criminal wrong PERR Y S TA NDS CON-formation and misunderstanding doing, before, during, or since DEMNED BY HIS OWN AC-to flourish. the original Fraud case. TIONS. NEXT BRANCH MEETING: THURSDAY 16TH OCTOBER 2008, 1700 HOURS: The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane,1 Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE BRANCH SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  2. 2. East London Rail Branch News Vol I, Issue 7 October 2008 SPEAKING AT THE ‘RAILWAY TAVERN’ MASSMEETING, LIVERPOOL STREET, 2ND OCTOBER 2008“THE ALLEGATIONS– SUCH AS THEY ARE– so far presentedto me revolve around Revenue Protection Inspectors, on oneparticular shift at Hertford East depot, using each others’ Ad-vantix [portable ticket machine] and sharing each others’passwords. ‘MANAGEMENT PASSING THE BUCK’But what we need to make clear today, and at your depots, isthe extent to which senior Revenue Protection managementare implicated in this whole issue. The reason they are actingwith such a heavy hand is because they are desperate to shiftresponsibility from those supposedly in charge of the depart-ment to ordinary members of staff further down the food- BOB RAYNERchain; Alan Perry, as Head of Department is possibly the mainculprit in this. I have written some very stern letters to Mike Goddard [Human ResourcesDirector, NXEA] pointing out this un-necessarily heavy-handed response. I originally gotinvolved due to the suspension of Charlie Cicirello, Revenue Protection Company Councillorand Health & Safety representative– a very active Representative, and we are all awarethat he has been a major thorn in the side of Alan Perry. On more than one occasion, Ihave had to intervene when Perry has been over-zealous in having a go at him.‘UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT?’ ‘PERRY REPRIMANDED’The situation came to a head when the Com- Certainly none of them at any time werepany suspended four members, with two of reprimanded by the Judge! certainly nonewhom I attended their second interviews. of them at any time were reprimanded byMark Burgess-Lawrence [Area Revenue Pro- the Judge!tection Manager– West, NXEA] sent out the But it became equally as clear that oneletters of suspension stating the grounds person representing the interests of thequite clearly, ‘Unprofessional conduct on the Company actually WAS reprimanded by thewitness stand’. Judge, and that same person now has theSo it is either fortunate– or unfortunate!- that temerity to threaten ME with libel over it!I am extremely experienced in where indus- That is a joke even if it wasn’t meant astrial law is concerned, in both criminal and one, as he subsequently corrected me as tocivil cases, and for years I conducted my own ‘the facts’- namely, that it wasn’t a Detec-Industrial Tribunals. tive Sergeant he texted whilst the OfficerWhat quite quickly became apparent early on was under Oath, but actually a Detectivewas that while some people gave evidence, Constable! This is out in the open now, andvery few were actually cross-examined by the NXEA management have been repeatedlyopposing Counsel. attacked with it. NEXT BRANCH MEETING: THURSDAY 16TH OCTOBER 2008, 1700 HOURS: The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE BRANCH SECRETARY FOR DETAILS2
  3. 3. East London Rail Branch News Vol I, Issue 7 October 2008 ‘HYPOCRISY’ How can they, without a charge of HYPOCRISY being laid at their door, argue like Perry has done that our members acted unprofessionally on the witness stand when none of them were criticised by the Judge, when the senior Reve- nue Protection manager was? It is perfectly possible thatthe Judge restrained himself from immediately issuing a Contempt of Court order. It isequally apparent, as I have repeatedly accused Mike Goddard of, that old and much fa-voured charge of ‘bringing the company into disrepute’ only ever refers to ordinary mem-bers of staff and never seems to refer to or be pertinent to management, who thereforeseem able to do what they like, when ordinary members of staff cannot?! ‘RESPONSIBLE MANAGEMENT?’ ‘IF NOT, WHO IS?!’The central issue here is that management are There is no doubt that some peoplethemselves compromised in regard to their own were aware and did use each others’undertakings on the Company’s franchise agree- AVB’s and passwords, but we arement because they had to state quite clearly as equally aware that often people didn’tpart of the franchise agreement that they would have access to the correct number ofprotect and defend their revenue. And it was machines that were required for aquite clear from the fact that people were sharing particular job, and that Alan PerryAVB’s and passwords that the Company’s revenue himself issued instructions that a per-was far from being protected. son was not actually required to handSo WHO is responsible for this? out machines to everybody.We do not share managements’ view that respon- So if something went wrong– as oftensibility should only ever go DOWNWARDS; we be- happens in Incident Enquiries- man-lieve that these managers are paid a certain agement have to take responsibility .amount of money to take on this responsibility If something has gone wrong, itwithin a Department. So it’s the old Harry Truman means the managerial process isphrase: ‘The buck stops here’; but it seems in wrong, and not necessarily that peo-modern management, the buck stops as far down ple are so much in breach of the Codethe ranks as they can get it and never reaches of Conduct that they are required tothem! be severely disciplined ‘SPREAD THE WORD!’ ‘WHERE ARE THE FACTS?!’It’s important that we get members who The one irony is that in the interviews weAREN’T INVOLVED to understand how impor- had, one of the things they have been us-tant this case is for everyone. We have to ing to attempt to prosecute these mem-publicise these facts to any members of staff bers, is that they have notes that werewho have only heard management’s side of taken by a manager in Court. I challengedthe story or who think ‘no smoke without Perry on this, which of course he deniedfire’. This particular group- or cabal!- of man- (that they were his notes), but in whichagement needs to be shown some resistance case he or some other manager has in-and needs to be shown that they have a re- structed another manager to make suresponsibility and duty of care to their staff and they took notes.NOT just deny all responsibility when some- DO THE COMPANY THINK THEY HAVE GOTthing goes wrong and pass responsibility THE RIGHT TO INVESTIGATE A STATE-downwards as they have here. MENT TAKEN ON OATH IN COURT? NEXT BRANCH MEETING: THURSDAY 16TH OCTOBER 2008, 1700 HOURS: The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE BRANCH SECRETARY FOR DETAILS3
  4. 4. East London Rail Branch News Vol I, Issue 7 October 2008 ‘MIS-USE OF COURT NOTES’ This raises the question- a very serious question- as to whether management have the right to take disciplinary action against somebody who said something- the truth, which no-one is denying, since they were never cross- examined or censured for it or investigated for perjury.But if they’re are going to do that, they should at least use the official court transcriptswhich are accurate and word-for-word. Of course, these have the obvious disadvantage, formanagement, that they might not read as they would like them to! The sudden and recentdecision to use the Court transcripts has now become the Company’s excuse to prolongthese suspensions, a decision made only after pressure from this union. Even though two ofthe members concerned here received their transcripts (at their own expense) weeks ago!And it is worth pointing out that their portion of the transcripts are not very long due to thefact that they were questioned so briefly. ‘APPLY RULES FAIRLY’But it would be interesting to see a transcript of Alan Perry in court: as if the Company arearguing that people CAN be disciplined for what they said in Court, then the same principleshould go for senior managers! THE PRESIDENT’S VIEW: 2ND OCTOBER 2008THE REASON I CAME DOWN HERE TODAY rules, then they’ll come afteris to get as many insights as possible as to you.why you are placed in the situation you are. Well, regarding the allega-Now it’s completely relevant that in your tions against our members,group of grades, in the London area, other and the short memories ofRepresentatives are facing suspension– over management, a long timein the Underground, on Metronet– and not ago I worked on the ticket-to go into detail about it– but an experi- ing side of the Undergroundenced Rep has been stood down and sus- and I still remember whatpended on completely trumped up charges: went on to keep the job go-and there’s the common theme! ing. We knew that management knew thatBecause from what you arer saying here we knew, and if we hadn’t have operatedabout Charlie and your other three Brothers, like that, nothing would have got done.though I don’t know you, what it appears So it really sticks in the gullet that even thenmanagement are doing is something you’ve they manipulated a situation where some-all got in common with Andy Littlechild, our body has looked the other way– poor man-comrade from Metronet– which is that, if agement, in essence– to try and get the jobthey think theyve got something on you done, and others are being shot up for itand others, on possibly some technical because they went into the witness box andpoint, that they can call a breach of the blew the whistle. Continued next page NEXT BRANCH MEETING: THURSDAY 16TH OCTOBER 2008, 1700 HOURS: The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE BRANCH SECRETARY FOR DETAILS4
  5. 5. East London Rail Branch News Vol I, Issue 7 October 2008 And it’s a shame, as with Andy Littlechild on the Underground, that they think they can get away with it. The reality is nothing to do with the minutiae of whether or not an Avantix PIN number has been shared. Charlie is being setup because of what he stands for, which is an RMT Rep and activist, and management areclever enough– and cynical enough– to know they’ll have to line up a few other people withhim, in order to take out the cornerstone of theirproblem, which is Charlie.There’s a lot of people he’s defended and advised, THOUGHTin this room and down there on the station, and FOR THE MOMENTdoing it so successfully, makes himself a target indoing so. You can almost take odds on activists “Ten thousand times hasbeing picked on, and at the moment, when man- the Labour movementagement may feel lucky– we have to rise to the stumbled and bruised it-occasion and confront them. self.I don’t know the details of this case, but what I do We have been enjoined byknow is that we at Head Office have a job of work the courts, assaulted byto do, as do you on the shop-floor being the peo- thugs, charged by the mi-ple out there– who engage this group of grades in litia, traduced by theCharlies’ defence. Because if they think they can press, frowned upon intake out Charlie and the others, they won’t stop public opinion, and de-there– they’ll get a taste of blood. Get him out the ceived by politicians.way and they’ll come back for more and more andmore. That’s why we have to be absolutely deter- But notwithstanding all thismined in our defence of these people. and all these, labor is to- day the most vital and po-The other thing that needs to be said is that all tential power this planetGrades on the railway have the power to apply has ever known, and itspressure on management. We’ve got to be imagi- historic mission is as cer-native in what action we take at work, and how we tain of ultimate realizationcan apply maximum pressure on NXEA to defend as is the setting of thethese members. We can’t rely on just talking about sun…”whether or not we’ve got the Company over abarely legally or not, even if we have! Eugene V. Debs (1855–1926)Because these people are already prepared to goto court just to get rid of members– we face this American Trade Unionevery week and we are facing it now, and we leader, and founding member of the Interna-should do everything in our power to stop it get- tional Labor Union and theting to that stage. Industrial Workers Of TheI’ve come down here today as President of this World (IWW)Union to make sure that every single activist whoputs their head above the parapet, with theirmembers and for their members, gets the full ser-vice, and the full back-up, of this Union. Becausewhere they go, we all go. The National Leadershipof the RMT are right behind you, and together wecan fight this successfully to the end. NEXT BRANCH MEETING: THURSDAY 16TH OCTOBER 2008, 1700 HOURS: The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE BRANCH SECRETARY FOR DETAILS5
  6. 6. East London Rail Branch News Vol I, Issue 7 October 2008FROM THE GENERAL SECRETARY, RMT, TO ALL N.X. REVENUE PROTECTION STAFF BOB CROW“THE FACT IS, EVERYONE CAN SEE WHAT get out there and do disciplinaries, gettingHAPPENED HERE, that people went to court people off, getting people re-instated fromand told the truth under oath, and in Na- the sack, and like for the West Anglia people,tional Express’s reality, this seems enough to negotiating at various levels to get them bet-get people the sack. These people could lose ter pay and conditions. He has basically de-their jobs, yet they are innocent. Therefore, fended YOUR RIGHT to be in a Trade Union.whatever happens in future he should be re- They’ll try and divide you and pick you offinstated now or get his job back in future. one by one; but if you pick on one person inUnfortunately, UNDER British Employment this Union, you pick on 80,000, if– as in this case- you’re found not We’ve got to speed up this process whileguilty in court, or purely secondary to a case, they’re trying to slow the process– at least ifit doesn’t mean a thing. we ended up in a tribunal that would speedThey say that justice should be swift, yet things along, but with suspension, comesthese suspensions have now lasted eight stigma. People think they know what hap-weeks and counting; so what are they wait- pened, or guess, or believe Company lies. Iting for? is a fact that this originates with manage-What we’ve got to do is stand together as ment pressing charges when there is noone on this, and we’ve got to say to mem- charge to be brought. They are delaying thebers, if you don’t support these four people, issue because they have no could be Colchester next time, or You have our full support, and anything thatSouthend, or Liverpool Street, getting picked can be done, industrially, politically, and le-on next. gally, will be done.I don’t think the membership of this organi- I came down here today to tell you, standingsation should be denied the right to ballot: shoulder to shoulder with John Leach, Bobbecause if they can pick off these four peo- Rayner, and Derrick Marr, and you who areple, senior activists or not, and you can’t de- suspended, you are NOT on your own. Wefend them, then what chance have we got at represent the rest of the RMT, and you havedefending our members? THAT IS THE BRU- our full support. If there is a move to ballotTAL TRUTH OF THE MATTER. for action, some people will be afraid of ac-One certain thing is though, is that if people tion: but the one guarantee is, that if youcontribute to a Trade Union, then we as stand up to them, you cant guarantee youTrade Unionists must stand together and win, but if you don’t stand up to them, yousupport them, because these people have can guarantee they’ll walk all over you.chosen to get out there and fly the flag of We have to stand together and tell this rot-this union and support the rest of you on a ten company that we’re organised, and thatday to day basis! if they do damage these people, we standPeople like Charlie are amongst the first to with them to get them and their jobs back!” NEXT BRANCH MEETING: THURSDAY 16TH OCTOBER 2008, 1700 HOURS: The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE BRANCH SECRETARY FOR DETAILS6
  7. 7. East London Rail Branch News Vol I, Issue 7 October 2008 At the Branch meeting held on resolve and commitment he has shown in Thursday 18th September 2008 furthering this cause. at 17:00 at The Railway Tavern East London Rail Branch considers that this Hotel, Angel Lane, Stratford, is nothing less than an outright, indefensi- the following Resolution passed. ble, and unjustifiable attack upon one of our most active comrades, as well as the Union “This Branch notes with dismay itself, and our ability to organise, recruit, and disbelief the continuing sus- and defend our members. pension of our Comrade and This Branch believes that failure on behalf activist, a Stage II RMT/ Health of NXEA to immediately re-instate Bro Cici- & Safety representative and rello and publicly vindicate him will lead to a Company Councillor for London state of dispute existing between this Union Eastern Railway (‘National Ex- and the Company. Therefore, such a situa- press East Anglia’), Bro. Charlie tion developing as a result of NXEA intransi- Cicirello. gency and procrastination, this Branch re- This Branch notes the contribu- quests that the General Grades Committee tion he has made to the devel- instructs the General Secretary to ballot our opment and organisation of this Revenue Protection grades within NXEA for Union in many workplaces, as both strike action and action short of a well as to the recruitment and strike.” retention of members, helping SIGNED: to make this Union a fighting Secretary: Ed Shine and just Union in the face of years of management assaults Chair: Glenn Wallis of exactly the same kind as we see him facing himself now. He has represented many mem- bers, and won many cases and has faced down many attacks, in the interests of our members. The so-called managers- senior managers at LER, both within the Revenue Protection depart- ment and above them- respon- sible for his suspension have only demonstrated, and con-tinue to demonstrate hypocrisy and arro-gance.This Branch believes that the treatment sofar meted out to Bro. Cicirello amounts tonothing more, and nothing less, than vic- YOURtimisation from a management who claim tobe professional but have proved themselves COLLEAGUESby their own actions to be purely vindictive.We salute the sterling work of our Lead Offi- NEEDcer in continuing the struggle for justice forBro Cicirello and we commend him for the YOU!!! NEXT BRANCH MEETING: THURSDAY 16TH OCTOBER 2008, 1700 HOURS: The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE BRANCH SECRETARY FOR DETAILS7