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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 December 2010

Workplace news in brief

Scrooge Northern Rail bosses in Christmas pay pantomime

Rail union RMT have slammed Northern Rail for issuing deliberately misleading statements over Christmas working arrangements. They are trying to claim that there is an agreement that forces staff to work the additional public holidays on 27 and 28 December at a flat rate with no enhancements.

Craig Johnston, Manchester and North-West RMT council of executives member, told The Socialist: "Northern Rail have turned negotiations into a Christmas pantomime in which they are happy to play the part of Scrooge.

"We don't want a strike, we want to do everything we can to avoid any disruption. However, the company needs to accept that we are only asking for an enhanced rate of pay for coming to work on the compensation days for the Christmas holidays.

"We are asking for fairness at a time when this company is making millions in profits, paying out millions in shareholder dividends and giving mega bucks to faceless directors.

"We are frontline staff who provide the service. We deserve better.

"Northern Rail already pays some of the lowest wages for conductors across the whole of Britain's rail network. The issue of low pay in this company and excessive profits is a national disgrace."

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