Network Rail Bonus Outrage

Submitted by Off The Rails on 15 June, 2007 - 7:46

Network Rail is withholding bonuses from two groups of workers in an action of anti-union spite and scapegoating. As the company - supposedly 'not-for-profit' - reported record profits, NWR refused maintenance workers in the Grayrigg area their £400 bonus and docked £300 from Scottish signallers and supervisors who took strike action earlier this year.

The investigation into the Grayrigg derailment is still ongoing, yet NWR is treating its employees as if they are guilty - all 119 of them! Top bosses continually claim that the justification for their fat-cat salaries is that they bear huge responsibility on their shoulders - but when it comes to actually taking some responsibility, they dump it on someone else.

NWR is ‘forgetting’ that it was its own managers' unreasonableness that forced the strike. It is now making those 400+ workers, who have already lost money by striking, pay again.

Meanwhile, Network Rail bosses continue to trouser fat-cat payouts, and only suspended their own annual bonuses in the face of a public outcry, doubtless to pay themselves when the fuss has died down a bit. Poor things, for now they will have to live on their over-inflated salaries alone.

Rightly, RMT immediately announced a ballot for strike action. But the union is only balloting those members directly affected, and many union activists are calling for it to include all NWR employees nationwide. After all, maintenance and operational staff across the country can easily see that if the employer gets away with this they could be next in line. And, knowing an outrageous injustice when they see one, they will rally to the support of their workmates in Scotland and Cumbria.

RMT is showing that it is prepared to defend its members against this vindictive, penny-pinching employer. But it must do so with maximum unity and effectiveness, and show faith in its members' willingness to fight whether they are directly affected or not. Let's not punch below our weight!

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Submitted by Tubeworker on Mon, 25/06/2007 - 18:07

RMT press release below. Note, though, that at present this just involves members in Cumbria and Scotland.

A NATIONAL strike by 15,000 Network Rail workers has moved a step closer after the company refused to negotiate settlements to disputes in Scotland and Cumbria over withheld and reduced bonuses, Britain’s biggest rail union says today.

Some 119 RMT members being scapegoated over the Grayrigg accident in Cumbria and more than 400 Scottish signallers whose bonus has been docked for striking to defend an agreement on working hours are already voting on strike action in a ballot that closes on Monday (June 25).

"The feedback we have is that both ballots will return overwhelming support for strike action," RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today.

"The RMT executive said from the start that we would look at balloting our entire Network Rail membership over the important principles involved.

"Emergency motions coming into our AGM, which opens in Edinburgh on Sunday, are calling for a national strike ballot, and it is clear that there is a head of steam rising over Network Rail's double standards and intransigence.

"I have been in contact with Network Rail seeking talks, but the company has told us flatly that the bonus issue is non-negotiable.

"As a result it is now looking likely that we are heading towards a national stoppage in the next four to five weeks," Bob Crow

ends

Notes to editors: Network Rail staff employed in the area that includes the site of the Grayrigg crash are being balloted for industrial action after their £400 bonus was withheld.

Signallers and supervisors in Scotland are being balloted after being docked £300 bonus after striking over the company's own failure to honour a 35-hour week deal.

Submitted by Off The Rails on Mon, 25/06/2007 - 18:35

RMT Press release

NETWORK RAIL workers being scapegoated over the Grayrigg accident in Cumbria and Scottish signallers denied bonus for striking to defend an agreement on working hours will strike for 24 hours from 00:01 on Friday July 6.

Delegates at the union's annual general meting in Edinburgh voted unanimously to endorse the action, and to ballot all 15,000 Network Rail members for strike action over the bonus issues.

"The unanimous vote by delegates at our annual general meeting should send the message to Network Rail that 75,000 RMT members are united behind their brothers and sisters in Scotland and Cumbria who are being victimised and scapegoated," general secretary Bob Crow said today.

"Network Rail have told us they will not negotiate and our choice is either to accept what the bosses say or fight, and our members have chosen to fight.

"Network Rail should take a serious look at the double standards that have resulted in this dispute and think again about its rash refusal to negotiate," Bob Crow said.

ends

Notes to editors:RMT members working for Network Rail in the area that includes the site of the Grayrigg crash voted by 184 (83 per cent) to 37 (17 per cent) to take action.

And signallers and supervisors in Scotland who were docked £300 bonus after striking over the company's failure to honour a 35-hour week deal have voted by 186 (62 per cent) to 116 (38 per cent) to strike.

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