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Newsletter: Early May, 2010


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Newsletter: Early May, 2010

  1. 1. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 9 Early May 2010 0626 East London Rail Branch New s Email: Chair: John Clarke– 07795237318 Secretary: Ed Shine–07940340128 National Union of Rail, Maritime, & Transport Workers’ GENERAL SECRETARY: Bob Crow AT THE HOT GATES IN THE WARM RAIN ...A WOUNDED ANIMAL AT BAY! TOC‟s AND THEIR FRANCHISES BECOME MORE VICIOUS AND MORE DAN- GEROUS THE CLOSER THEY GET TO THEIR OWN TERMINATION SO, GOOD REASON TO JOIN R.M.T., OR PERSUADE EAST LONDON RAIL BRANCH SENDS IT SOMEONE TO DO SO- FOR ALL OUR SAKES!- CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BRITISH IMPERIALThese are dark times. RULING CLASS ON BEING ELECTED IN THE LSTSome think that in the last year of a franchise, a TOC will stop caring LAST ELECTION ONCE AGAIN... IT WOULD BEabout its‟ troubles and just be nice for the sake of it. TRAGIC IF THE HABIT OF THE LAST FEW WRONG HUNDRED YEARS WAS BROKEN!They will treat the arse-end of their franchise like a fruit machine or a WE VOTED...banged-put Cortina: put as little in as possible, get as much out of it BUT THE GOVERNMENT GOT INas possible, and rip the f***ing arse out of it. And we, the employees, VOTE BROWN: get Cameron;and members, are the transmission and suspension... So we‟re getting VOTE CAMERON: get Cleggground like gears, starved of oil, sat on, and driven over a slag pit. VOTE CLEGG: get Cameron. THINK IT’S CLAPPED OUT? JOIN THE R.A.C... REBEL AT CENTRE!! They‟re all chauffeur driven in the STAN D F IRM same limo... just use different doors to STA NDT O GET HER get out. STAN D FOREVER FEEL SHAFTED YET?! NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 15th JUNE 2010, 1700 HOURS: 1 The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  2. 2. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 9 Early May 2010 BALLOT FOR STRIKE ACTION OVER FOUR DEPOTS:- -Are you prepared to take strike action? 53 votes cast– 32 For– 21 Against– non spoiled– 60.4% in favour. -Are you prepared to take action short of a Strike? 53 votes cast– 39 for– 14 against– non spoiled– 74% Dave Couzens, a trusted and loyal RMT representative, has been dis- „May Day‟: Re-launched novel bymissed from his job as a Senior Conductor at RMT on turbulent times in London inCambridge by Arriva Cross Country. Brother the thirties. Re-released by R.M.T.:Couzens was an elected Local Representative “The country is in turmoil – the people are an-at Cambridge and was co-opted onto the gry at the excesses and corruption of the rulingCompany Council for the Grade of Senior class; workers are told to increase productionConductor. In the latter part of 2009 Brother for less pay; bosses meet to discuss ways ofCouzens was suspended from duty for writing increasing their profit margins; unions mobiliseto his local manager which is in itself is unbe- the masses; a march takes place; police clashlievable. He was represented by the RMT and with demonstrators and a man is killed on thewas subsequently found free from blame and streets of London. This could well be a snap-received payment for loss of earnings. shot of Britain in the 21st Century, but it is alsoBrother Couzens was suspended and subse- an outline of some of the events driving Mayquently dismissed in February of this year. He Day, a novel first published in 1936.”was issued with a clause 9 after a spurious Although “May Day” is set in the Thirties it shows that the same challengesallegation made by a member of the travel- facing workers nearly eighty years ago – union busting employers tryingling public. Notwithstanding the fact he is one to squeeze more out their workforce for less pay – are being thrown atof our proud Union Representatives, it is un- trade union members on May Day 2010.”- Bob Crow, General Secretary.acceptable that we allow a precedent to beset in relation to complaints made by the BUILDING ON OUR PASTpublic. As a Union we cannot accept either an FIGHTING FOR OUR FUTUREattack on our representatives or allow SeniorConductors to be disciplined at the first signof a customer complaint. Management hasinformed RMT that they are not prepared toreinstate Dave Couzens.At the behest of Birmingham Rail Branch andLeicester and Rutland Branch, the GeneralGrades Committee have agreed to ballot allSenior Conductors members employed byArriva Cross Country at Birmingham NewStreet, Cambridge and Leicester for strike ac-tion and industrial action short of a strike indefence of Dave Couzens.RMT is demanding the full reinstatement ofDave in his substantive post.Ballot papers will be dispatched to member‟shomes on Thursday 22nd April 2010 and theballot will close on Thursday 6th May 2010. NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 15th JUNE 2010, 1700 HOURS: 2 The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  3. 3. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 9 Early May 2010 L “They bury life, the IMF, EU, World Bank and shits, and with poison lips, AL . K . they‟re saying, while slicing our veins, „you‟ll pay for our mistakes‟: From the ** W. F O FINCAS to the TOC‟s overseeing us, to the vultures playing markets...” N -Ed Shine, Branch Secretary The European Union has met to cobble together aR e - move the bloodsuckers, who are the global financial wizards that „rescue package‟ for Greece, in collaboration withwork at the IMF, WTO and the World Bank and practice the art of dark the International Monetary AT OUR EXPENSE and THEIR GAIN. Over the last months, the Greek social democratic PASOK government‟s austerity agenda has pro- voked strikes by hundreds of thousands of work- ers and mass protests. But the government‟s pledge of wage cuts and job losses has failed to The “Hot Money” cycle: The satisfy the international finance markets. works like this: “Cash comes in for With state bankruptcy once again staring Athens speculation in real estate and cur-„Briberization”: involves the in the face, the EU proposed a “life-line” loan of rency, then flees at the first whiff ofcriminal global financiers paying €30 billion. Set at interest rates of around 5 per- trouble. A nation‟s reserves cannational leaders of poverty-stricken cent, however, the stop-gap measure will only drain in days, hours. And when thatnations hefty amounts of dough for increase Greek indebtedness, while condemning happens, to seduce speculators intothe direct sale of public assets to the population to yet more savage attacks. returning a nation‟s own capitaloligarchical corporations and pri- funds, the IMF demands these na- The situation in Greece is paralleled by that in Ire-vate foreign banks. All the illegal tions raise interest rates to 30%, land and Latvia, where even more draconian cut-dough of the traitorous leaders is 50% and 80%.” Step two is mainly backs have been imposed. Across Europe, all gov-then safely stashed in secret Swiss about hijacking of pension funds, ernments are making similar accounts, miles and miles gutting employment benefits, and The fourth and last step is called “poverty reduc-away from the nation‟s angry other social safety nets that people tion strategy” by the World Bank/IMF, or it couldcitizens whose livelihoods and in- work all their lives for. be called “monopoly market politics.” People of-comes are stripped in the process. ten mistake this last step with free trade policies, And when the nation finally wakes up late in the afternoon, it realizes but one important thing to keep in mind, is that that it was robbed deaf, dumb, and blind the night before. It also discov- this is “free trade by the rules of the World Trade ers that it acquired an economic STD, so the pain has only begun and Organization and World Bank,” in other words, it recovery is far from sight. An even bigger revelation awaits the nation, is corporatist-monopolist trade in the guise of which will cause panic in the streets, and thrust the nation further into free market capitalism. the economic abyss: Democratic reform must include smart regulation of credit and financial institutions, the reintro- “THE IMF RIOT”: The people then begin to find out that the vampires duction of public banking, the reduction of pub- from the IMF and World Bank never left the night before, they were hid- lic subsidies to undeserving corporations and ing in the nation‟s economic closet, where they‟ve patiently waited to put banks, the reinstatement of the principles of free the third step into effect, which is a sharp rise in food and gas prices, and economic competition, and lastly, the termina- other commodities that keep a nation running from day to day on an tion of the IMF, World Bank, and WTO, the even keel. The IMF basically engineers the collapse through their crip- “bloodsuckers,” whose agenda is to establish an pling policies and proposals for social spending cuts, which create the oligarchic grip on nations and peoples, and de- conditions for riots, public rage and civil unrest. prive them of all prosperity, as well as economic and political independence. NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 15th JUNE 2010, 17001700 HOURS: 20TH OCTOBER 2009, HOURS: 3 The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  4. 4. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 9 Early May 2010 ONCE AGAIN National Express Human Resources, through Management, are requiring some members of staff to provide their passports for inspection, presumably as some kind of „right to work status‟ check. The fact that staff are required to provide this information when they are first taken on seems to have escaped them; and we are talking here of staff who have been employed for a minimum of some years now. It maybe purely incompe- tence that they never checked in the first place or have since lost the records of having done so. The Branch Sec- retary has taken legal advice on their rights to do this which is summarised below. Copies of the RMTBooklet ‟Immigration Checks At Work‟, by Comrade Pat Wilkinson of the RMT THOUGHEqual Opportunities Dept, are available from the Branch Secretary on request. TThe brief answer is, yes they can make these requests; but that the way in which they doit should not result in unlawful racial discrimination. If an employee cannot provided FOR THEdocumentary evidence of their legal entitlement to work, they could be dismissed and MOMENTthe employer would most likely satisfy an Employment Tribunal that the dismissal was ‘Do not think that I came tofair. The Guidance accompanying this legislation for employers is clear that the onus bring peace on the earth; Ilies with either the prospective or existing employee to demonstrate their legal entitle- did not come to bring peace,ment to work. It is clearly stated that "Any person found to be working illegally is liable but a sword. For I came to setto prosecution and/or removal from the UK." Members in this situation, should be ad- a man against his father, andvised to contact the Immigration Advisory Service (IAS), the largest charity specialising a daughter against herin immigration and asylum law (020 7967 1200 or mother, and a daughter-in-EMPLOYERS HAVE A DUTY UNDER THE ASYLUM & IMMIGRATION ACT NOT TO law against her mother-in-KNOWINGLY EMPLOYEE SOMEONE ILLEGALLY WORKING law; and a man‟s enemies will be the members of his house- THEY SHOULD HOWEVER SEEK DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE FROM ALL THOSE hold. „ WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN CHECKED BEFORE NOT JUST A FEW. -Matthew 10:34-39IT IS NOT YET CLEAR THAT THE COMPANY IS COMPLYING WITH THESE „I have come to cast firePROVISIONS. ALL REP‟S SHOULD REPORT ALL KNOWN CASES TO THE upon the earth; and how ISECRETARY AND FURTHER ADVICE WILL BE TAKEN. THE CASE CONTINUES.... wish it were already kindled! „ -Luke 12:49-53 „Whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one „ -Luke 22:36 „Put your faith in God... But keep your powder dry‟ -Misattributed: Oliver Cromwell „God is on the side of big battalions‟ -Napoleon I NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 15th JUNE 2010, 1700 HOURS: The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, 4 Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  5. 5. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 9 Early May 2010 “With bonus and commission arrangements, if employees have earned it and are expecting it, then generally they are entitled to it!”The basic definition of "wages" for the purposes of the "unlawful deductions from w a g e s "provisions of the Employment Rights Act 1996 is simply "any sums payable to the worker by his employer inconnection with his employment" (other than specified exceptions such as refund of expenses or pensions) andspecifically including any fee, bonus, commission, holiday pay or other emolument referable to his employment,whether payable under his contractor otherwise (ERA 1996 s.27). THE GENERAL RULE: The general rule (Employment Rights Act 1996 s.13(1) (formerly Wages Act 1986 s.1(1)) is that it is unlawful for an employer to make any deductions from wages paid to any worker "employed by him" unless either: (a) it is required or authorised either by statute or by "a relevant provision" of the workers contract; or (b) the worker has given advance written consent. Similarly, an employer (in his capacity as employer) is not allowed to receive any payment from a worker employed by him unless it satisfies one of the conditions above (ERA 1996 s.15(1)). If an employee receives commission If certain payment arrangements have been agreed be- there will be rules which govern the manner tween parties and the employer subsequently departs and method in which that commission is paid. These rules from these, which then results in a financial loss to the may have been recorded in writing, or agreed orally, or have employee, the employee can claim unlawful deduction of arisen through past practice. wages. E.G.; When drafting contracts of employment for employers solici- •there are arguments about bonuses to be paid when an tors are often asked to ensure that any entitlement to commis- employee leaves their employment; sion under the contract is expressed to be discretionary in •there is a dispute about the amount of notice pay to be nature. This “discretion” often purports to allow employers to paid. vary or alter the terms of a commission scheme and even to Contrary to popular belief there is no compensation cease or withdraw payments without notice. Often both em- payable if an employee wins an unlawful deduction from ployers and employees believe that this is sufficient to effec- wages claim. Monies unlawfully deducted must be paid to tively draw and end to the matter. Not so! the employee, but there is no compensation payment for the inconvenience, injury to feelings etc.SAID AN EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL ON A BONUS SCHEME:„ This must be a form of agreement or clause which is to befound in many situations in employment. If reasonable notice is should not extend to any commission or bonus paymentsgiven, clearly these schemes can be varied and altered and provided they are paid with regularity (as a matter ofmight be abolished, but whilst the schemes are in being, the factual history) and regardless as to whether or notanticipation will be that in normal circumstances commission specific mention is made in the contract itself. On this ba-will be paid on work which has been carried out and on which sis the principle could be extended to include practicesthe calculation is based; the anticipation of both parties is such as the payment of an annual Christmas bonus.clearly that it will be payable.” An employer‟s failure to pay commission or bonus inKent Management Services Ltd v Butterfield, 1992 these circumstances is likely therefore to constitute a breach of contract and will probably permit an employee In this case the reference to the discretionary commission to resign and claim constructive dismissal. Alternatively an scheme was contained in the contract of employment. employee could remain in employment and simply bring a However, there is no obvious reason why the principle claim for Unlawful Deduction of Wages. NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 15th JUNE 2010, 1700 HOURS: 5 The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  6. 6. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 9 Early May 2010 There has been much discussion, acrimonious and otherwise, on the proposal to „implement‟ (a nice management word 2010 PAY CLAIM which is quite capable of being synonymous with imposi- With the expiry of the four-year pay deal, our pay- tion!!!). East Side management have entered their Boudoir submission is being made at talks with the Company at and convoluted their drawers... In other words, got their Oliver‟s Yard in May. The following points need to be em- knickers in a twist! phasised, regarding the current loss of purchasing power All that has so far been established is that they are all of a by our members‟ due to the prevailing economic climate: sudden in dire need of coverage at Liverpool Street. But as has been pointed out at Company Council Level, the only two SUBSTANTIAL PAY AWARD guaranteed ways of dealing with this are the two ways that Dramatic rises in food, fuel, and other living costs necessi- are not only out of the Revenue manager‟s hands, but are at tates this. with „No Strings Attached‟ , in order for mem- least partially a direct result of their own ill-founded actions bers‟ to continue to meet the cost of living. originally. IF THEY RECRUITED STAFF: it wouldn‟t be a prob- lem. IF THEY HAD A PERMANENT DEPOT AT LIVERPOOL REDUCTION IN WORKING WEEK STREET: it wouldn‟t be a problem now. RMT members have identified a further reduction in the But these things, thanks to the „Ostrich Effect‟ (i.e., heads in working week to 34-hours as a key target this year. sand keeps consequences of blind ignorance from the door) are not going to happen so NOW they believe (can they FAMILY-FRIENDLY POLICIES really believe it?!) that by fiddling with rosters they will cre- ate more staff. DR. FRANKENSTEIN TRIED TO CREATE The desire for improved work-life balance is coupled with BODIES OUT OF NOTHING... And we know what hap- a demand for more progressive „family-friendly‟ policies. pened there! The Secretary recalled to the Branch that IMPROVED TRAVEL FACILITIES when he was Local Rep at Liverpool Street he put up a notice – when similar roster rumours were circulating– he put up aRailworkers recruited after privatization are aggrieved at notice INFORMING THE COMPANY THAT TRADITIONALLYtheir „second-class‟ status in regard to travel facilities and THE R.M.T. RESPONDS TO IMPOSED ROSTERS WITH A STRIKEjustice demands that full facilities be extended to every BALLOT. The notice was taken down by a Team Leader and the Rep. was then called into Alan Perry‟s office where he was FINAL SALARY PENSION PROVISION informed that the notice was unnecessarily inflammatory. Employees to have access to final salary pension provision. Bearing in mind that the same Head of Department is now DENYING he ever gave a recent GUARANTEE that Rosters IMPROVED LONDON ALLOWANCE would not need to be changed, if a similar notice went up For those members living in London and the SE the effects would it be considered INFLAMMATORY... Or merely accu- of the continued rise in some living costs (e.g., travel) are rate? felt more keenly. London weighting and associated allow- Local Reps are now dealing with the Rostering issue. The ances should therefore be increased accordingly to reflect Branch recommends an AUTOMATIC ‟Failure to Agree‟ on the increased cost of living in this area. this at all levels of the Bargaining Machinery. And any impo-THE REVENUE PROTECTION COMPANY COUNCIL ADVISES sition of Rosters will result in a similar notice going up. Per-THAT A „NO-STRINGS‟ DEAL IS A PRE-REQUISITE AND FUN- haps the Secretary was right... Three years early!DAMENTAL. This is because productivity has already gone THE WAGES YOU EARN AND THE HOURS YOU WORK FORthrough the roof in this Department thanks to our members. THEM: THESE THINGS WE WILL HAVE TO FIGHT FOR NOW.A comparison of productivity at the time of the last pay deal(October 2006) now is stark. Although it appears easier to get out of the Moonies as it is to get precise figures out of thisfirm, it is a fact that the Department does hundreds of percent more prosecutions than it did then (not counting usual reve-nue intake), which is now deemed more important (i.e., profitable) and yet the staffing establishment has been reduced byover 40%. This is on top of various Re-Organisations that have interfered with working life and the increase in administra-tive/ auditing duties. PRODUCTIVITY ??!!! -THEY‟VE ALREADY HAD IT !!!! NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 15th JUNE 2010, 1700 HOURS: 6 The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  7. 7. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 9 Early May 2010 ‘VIRTUAL MINDER’ AGREEMENT 2006 NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 15th JUNE 2010, 1700 HOURS: The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, 7 Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  8. 8. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 9 Early May 2010 th 15 JUNE 2010 NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 20th APRIL 2010, 1700 HOURS: 8 The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS.