Wessex Trains: fighting job cuts

Submitted by Janine on 20 July, 2005 - 9:28

Staff on Wessex Trains are preparing to fight against compulsory redundancies.

About three years ago, the company reclassified some supervisory and clerical grades as 'managers' - and then had the cheek to say that RMT could no longer represent them as they had a single-union deal for managers with TSSA!

Now, Wessex is making 14 redundancies amongst these grades. Their 'consultation' consisted of phoning the TSSA full-timer, who dutifully agreed the list of names. The problem for management and their TSSA poodles is that one of the 14 - RMT member Suzanne Hughes - does not want to go.

When RMT pointed out that there is a 'no compulsory redundancies' clause in the PT&R, the company claimed that it did not apply because Suzanne is a 'manager'. But she is no more a manager than thousands of us in the industry who have some kind of supervisory responsibility.

Among Wessex Trains workers, there is a widespread fear that this is the very thin end of a very thick wedge. Staff fear that once the tourist season ends, there will be mass redundanices amongst stations, revenue and other staff.

So although this dispute is about only one person, it is also about a vital principle - defending the PT&R and stopping compulsory reduncdancies. That's why guards, drivers, stations, revenue and clerical grades are all united in a dispute which will see them take strike action if Wessex does not find a job for Suzanne.

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