RMT and TSSA to ballot members at Arriva Trains Wales over pay
RMT: October 13 2008
BRITAIN’S TWO biggest rail unions are to ballot more than 1,100 workers at Arriva Trains Wales for industrial action over a pay offer they say is unfair and fails to tackle the problem of low pay or to share with the workforce the financial success it has brought the company.
RMT and TSSA are to urge members in all non-driving grades across the company to vote for action after the company failed to increase a pay offer already rejected by both unions by massive margins.
The ballots, which both open on Wednesday (October 15) will close on October 28, and the two unions will co-ordinate industrial action if the company fails to table an acceptable offer.
“Arriva Trains Wales has not long handed its shareholders £14 million in dividends but it is the workforce that creates its profits and it is time for them to get a fair share in the fruits of their success,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today.
“This is the second year in a row that lower-paid grades have been asked to swallow a smaller rise, and our members are telling us they have had enough.
“It is obscene that while ATW is paying directors £230,000 we have reps who have had to go to the Low Pay Commission to discuss the problem of poverty wages at the company,” Bob Crow said.
Manuel Cortes, TSSA assistant general secretary, said: “Our members are very upset that they are being asked to take a lower pay rise than other employees at Arriva Trains Wales.
“We all contribute to the success of the company and we should all receive the same rewards. This is unfair and it should not happen.”
Notes to editors: ATW’s offer to non-driving grades of 4.75 cent this year and RPI plus 0.75 per cent in 2009 was rejected by 77.2 per cent in a TSSA consultative ballot, and by 554 votes to 31 in an RMT referendum.
In the year to December 31 2007 ATW made a pre-tax profit of £11.9 million, paid out shareholder dividends of £14 million, and paid its highest-paid director £230,000.
Rail workers' ballot in pay row
BBC News: 13 October 2008
More than 1,000 railway workers are to be balloted for industrial action in a fresh row over pay, threatening disruption to passengers.
Two unions claimed lower paid workers at Arriva Trains Wales were being asked to "swallow" a two-year pay offer which was smaller than that to other staff.
Arriva Train Wales said it was "extremely disappointed" but would work to resolve the matter.
It said the offer compared favourably with the rest of the industry.
There was a 24-hour strike by train managers in south and west Wales last month.
The Rail Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) and the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) announced the ballot on Monday.
They said the proposed pay deal of 4.75% this year and the rate of inflation plus 0.75% in 2009 to non-driving grades was worse than a pay rise given to other employees at the company.
"We all contribute to the success of the company and we should all receive the same rewards" - Manuel Cortes, TSSA
Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT, said: "This is the second year in a row that lower paid grades have been asked to swallow a smaller rise and our members are telling us they have had enough.
"Arriva Trains Wales has not long handed its shareholders £14m in dividends but it is the workforce that creates its profits and it's time for them to get a fair share in the fruits of this success.
"It is obscene that, while the company is paying directors £230,000, we have to go to the Low Pay Commission to discuss the problem of poverty wages at the company."
Manuel Cortes, assistant general secretary of the TSSA, said: "Our members are very upset that they are being asked to take a lower pay rise than other employees.
"We all contribute to the success of the company and we should all receive the same rewards."
Voting will close at the end of the month and the two unions said they will co-ordinate any industrial action.
In September, Valley Lines services and those in west Wales were badly disrupted by a 24 hour official strike by train managers at Arriva Trains Wales.
Some train crews supported the strike.
Arriva Trains Wales human resources director Dennis Baker said he was "extremely disappointed".
He said the offer was 4.75% for the first year, or £750 whichever is the greater, as well as enhanced maternity benefits.
"The basic pay increase is exactly the same as that offered to other employees in the company except for the £750 minimum payment which was specifically designed to give enhanced benefit to those on lower pay," he said.
"We would like to make it very clear that all our employees are paid significantly above the statutory minimum hourly pay rates and would not be covered by the Low Pay Commission.
"At a time of extreme challenge in the UK economy we are offering a pay increase that compares favourably with the rest of the transport industry. We will continue in our efforts to resolve this matter and trust that our employees will recognise the value of our offer."