Industrial news in brief

Submitted by AWL on 2 July, 2013 - 11:29

East Midlands Trains workers to ballot

The Rail, Maritime, and Transport workers union (RMT) is balloting train manager, conductor, and stations grades members working for East Midlands Trains for strikes over a variety of issues, including the victimisation of RMT rep Ruth Strong.

The union says the company has taken a “deliberately aggressive attitude” to negotiations over ongoing engineering work at Nottingham station, and accuses East Midlands Trains of “unilaterally ripping up” a number of procedural and conditions-of-service agreements.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “The industrial relations climate on East Midlands has sunk to a new low with the company attempting to bulldoze through changes off the back of an engineering blockade which has been planned over the long term and is now being dressed up as a bogus emergency to try and justify ignoring procedures and ripping up working agreements.

“There is also a culture of bullying, harassment and victimisation that RMT will not allow to continue. The union remains available for talks aimed at securing agreement but the company should be in no doubt as to the level of anger that their actions have generated amongst RMT members.”

BBC workers vote on pay deal

Members of the NUJ and BECTU unions at the BBC are voting on a new pay deal from management, which would see workers receive an £800 increase.

The offer is up from a previous proposal of £650, which workers rejected. BECTU general secretary Gerry Morrissey said: “I welcome the improvement on pay, which at a flat-rate £800 means that more than two-thirds of staff will receive an increase over 2%. However, I’m disappointed that the BBC is still asking staff to subsidise the organisation by accepting a below-inflation rise.”

Unanimous vote for strikes at Portsmouth port

Workers at Portsmouth port have voted unanimously to strike as they attempt to stop cuts that could see them lose over £1,000 a year.

The Unite ballot for strikes returned a 100% majority. The port, which is owned by Portsmouth City Council, is planning a number of changes to workers’ terms and conditions. Unite has been negotiating with port bosses for months, only for management to begin a series of individual consultations on possible reductions to staffing levels.

Unite convenor at Portsmouth city council Richard White said: “These cuts are ill-conceived and opportunistic and could have an indirect adverse knock-on effect for other council services.”

Regional Officer Ian Woodland added: “Port managers should be aware that their heavy-handed and dictatorial management style will be resisted by our members. We have voiced our concerns about the proposal to cut operational staff on numerous occasions and our members have not been listened to.”

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