The ‘additional hour’ for signallers should be for emergencies only eg. late running trains, over-run possessions etc. But Network Rail are using this extra hour to save them putting a night shift or extra shift on - in other words, to save them money. Management are bullying staff to stop on an hour or come in one hour early, which is an abuse of the ‘additional hour’ agreement.
Signallers at Glasgow Central had to ballot for strike action to call a halt to management’s abuse on this issue. The rest of us should refuse to go along with it too.
No Rest For The Wicked?
Network Rail management are more concerned about delays to trains than about safety. Some staff feel pressured if we have delays: after all, no-one comes to work to delay trains.
Most signallers have no meal breaks or toilet breaks, and some signal boxes do not even have indoor toilets. It is hard to work 8- or 12-hour shifts and have no meal break or toilet break. Our bladders are not programmed to run with the train timetables.
Train drivers stop trains to have a PNB - physical needs break. Why can’t signallers?
Scotland to Strike?
As we write, signallers and supervisors in Scotland are voting on strikes (and action short) over management’s abuse of rostering principles, PTR&R and Cognisco.
By the time of the signallers’ grades conference, the ballot result will be known. The conference will be an ideal opportunity for rank-and-file delegates to discuss what action to take in Scotland, and whether the issues are generalised across Britain and therefore whether the union should spread the action.