EWS Groundstaff

Submitted by AWL on 20 November, 2006 - 12:25

After years of attacking its staff and bashing the unions, EWS has produced restructuring plans that are an insult to all groundstaff. They may be a joke, or an attempt to make us accept a milder version at a later date. We're not laughing.

Management want to: make hours even more anti-social; make you work seven days a week; scrap meal breaks for turns up to six hours; make you work at any location and travel there in your own time; change rosters with only five days notice, and change booking on/off times with only 12 hours notice; drastically cut sick pay; and buy out redundancy and travel payments.

And EWS(I) - remember, that "separate" company that EWS invented to get our strikes banned a few years back - will expect groundstaff to drive trains to order.

Unsurprisingly, RMT groundstaff have rejected this rubbish by 428 votes to 9, a majority of 98%. We're surprised that 9 people voted Yes!

The union must now mobilise this strength of feeling. We need meetings in every depot. We should form rank-and-file committees in the depots, and bring together reps from these to form a national dispute committee.

In the past, campaigns lost momentum because workers felt that the national union took control out of their hands. We should learn from this and not let it happen again.

We also need to win over members of ASLEF and the Confed, explaining to them that while groundstaff might be in the line of fire at the moment, their grades will be next.

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