Industrial news in brief

Submitted by AWL on 18 September, 2019 - 9:01 Author: Ollie Moore and Will Sefton

Tube vote for action on noise

Driver members of the RMT union on London Underground’s Victoria, Central, Jubilee, and Northern Lines have voted to take industrial action short of strikes over excessive noise.

Drivers are demanding a permanent engineering solution to the problem of excessive noise in trains. The issue is caused by noise cancelling technology fitted to tracks to avoid excessive noise at street level, which has the effect of forcing the noise into the cabs, where it becomes unbearably loud for both drivers and passengers.

The action, which has yet to be formally named by the RMT, could see drivers run at slower speeds over the affected areas of track.

Station staff in RMT at the east end of the District Line have also voted for industrial action, returning a 94% majority on a 68% turnout. There, the dispute focuses on a spike in staff assaults which the union says is caused by lone working and short staffing.

As part of the action, workers will refuse to attend incidents alone and only work from a place of safety.

Ready meal workers ballot

Workers at Bakkavor, an international manufacturer of ready meals, dips and other products for supermarkets, are taking part in an indicative ballot over the derisory pay offer from management.

The GMB has been running a campaign for an additional £1 per hour with workers rejecting the companies offer which falls well below that twice.

Workers in Scotland have previously taken action earlier this year after rejecting a pay rise that worked out as just 6p an hour more and was still below the national living wage.

Now the sites in Park Royal, west London, are set to ballot. Workers there are mainly from Gujarat, Sri Lanka and Goa, and mostly women. Around 4,000 workers are employed across three factories and one warehouse.

Bakkavor is not well known, but its products are in every supermarket. The company was at the centre of the “hummus crisis” of 2017, when large amounts of hummus were recalled and shelves were left empty.

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