Network Rail 'Bonus' Outrage

Submitted by Janine on Thu, 05/24/2007 - 20:16

Brilliant. Network Rail have made big bucks, have dipped their short arms into their deep pockets to fish out a tiny bit to share with the workers - and have excluded the maintenance workers in the Grayrigg area and the Scottish signallers who Network Rail forced to take strike action earlier this year!

Thus far, none of the maintenance workers in the Grayrigg area have been found guilty of any wrongdoing, nor even of slack standards. Never mind, punish them anyway, eh? NR probably think it will look good in the media. But in the absence of proof of failure by an individual or gang, the management system should be held responsible if maintenance standards do fall short.

In Scotland, if NR had implemented the shorter working week properly, the signallers would not have had to go on strike. But they did have to, and in doing so, lost pay - it is outrageous that they should lose a bonus too. thgis is a straightforward financial inducement for scabbing. But before you shout "Surely that's illegal", remember that Central Trains got away with something similar earlier this year, writing a gleeful letter to guards telling them that they had missed their targets because they had taken strike action.

Anyway, RMT's leaderhsip appear to be reacting to all this with appropriate outrage and militancy, immediately threatening a strike ballot (press release below). Let's hope their actions speak as loud as their words.

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RMT set to ballot over Network Rail ‘bonus scapegoating’

NETWORK RAIL workers being scapegoated over the Grayrigg accident in Cumbria and Scottish signallers denied bonus for striking earlier this year are set to be balloted for industrial action, Britain’s biggest rail union said today.

Some 119 Network Rail staff employed in the area that includes the site of the Grayrigg crash have been denied their £400 bonus, while the more than 400 signallers and supervisors who took strike action over the company’s failure to honour an agreement have been docked £300.

All Network Rail staff have seen their bonus cut by a third.

“Network Rail has decided that staff around Grayrigg are to pay for the crash even though the investigation is still under way and the bosses can’t even be sure which company was the last to touch the points involved,” RMT general secretary Bob Crow said today.

“That amounts to scapegoating, and it is all the more shocking when senior bosses are still walking away with huge bonuses, and it is the very corporate decision-makers who should shoulder the responsibility who have decided that our members are to blame.

“In Scotland our signalling members will be angered that the company is imposing a ‘double-jeopardy’ fine for taking lawful industrial action which was provoked by Network Rail failing to honour an agreement.

“Those members have already lost two days’ pay for defending an agreement that the company broke, and imposing what amounts to a fine is not acceptable.

“Good industrial relations is supposed to be about getting back to normal working once a dispute is settled, but here we have Network Rail taking a sideways swipe at our members to save money.

“I will be recommending to the RMT executive that we ballot those members affected for strike action, and if Network Rail does not take steps to ensure that these bonuses are paid in full we could see action roll out across the company,” Bob Crow said.

Trade Unions