RMT ballot begins over attack on jobs and pay by Docklands Railway
RMT: May 31 2006
A BALLOT of more than 250 RMT members at Docklands Light Railway is under way today after the company failed to withdraw plans to cut safety-critical station staff jobs and slash pay by up to £5,000. The ballot will close on June 13.
In the guise of a 'reorganisation' the company plans to reduce the overall number of station staff from 42 to 34, cut the pay of station assistants by £5,000 and sack or downgrade more than half of the current station supervisors.
"We made it clear to Serco that these plans were unacceptable, and they have left us with no option but to press ahead and ballot all RMT's DLR members for inndustrial action," said RMT general secretary Bob Crow today.
"No matter how much they try to deny it, this re-organisation means a cut in safety-critical staff and fewer people on duty on a railway where most stations are already unstaffed, and it means the downgrading of the skills of those station staff that remain.
"For all sorts of reasons, not least today's heightened security fears, this is a very bad idea.
"We need to see more safety-critical staff on stations, not fewer, and it is outrageous that Serco appears to be wielding the axe to make up for their serious underbidding for the DLR contract," Bob Crow said.
Notes to editors: Serco's planned re-organisation involves reducing the overall number of station staff from 42 to 34, with most of those remaining downgrade in both skills and pay.
* The current 24 platform agents, who hold train licences and can therefore move trains when required, would be reduced to 18 'customer service officers' who would no longer be required to hold licences and would lose £5,000 a year in pay, reduced over two and a half years.
* There are currently 18 station supervisors, but these would be reduced to eight 'customer service team leaders' after re-organisation, with ten being made redundant or downgraded, with those downgraded into one of eight new 'leading customer service officer' posts losing £2,500 in salary.