RMT picket at Nottingham station - East Midlands Railway dispute - Sunday 13th June, photo G Freeman

RMT picket at Nottingham station – East Midlands Railway dispute – Sunday 13th June, photo G Freeman   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Senior conductors on East Midlands Railway are striking every Sunday until at least 15 August as part of a long-running dispute over contracts and Sunday working arrangements.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) are refusing to book onto shifts between 00:01 and 23:59.

Inferior contracts are being issued to new workers with around £5,500 less salary, and commitments to Sunday working.

Shift patterns are being drafted at the last minute, making it difficult for workers to plan ahead and have a reasonable work/life balance.

The company is also trying to get the senior conductors to work additional hours in breach of terms and conditions. This would be for nothing, as the company claims the time is owed, despite the fact there is an agreement that takes account of the complexity of rotas.

Either there is a deliberate attempt to take on the union or management cannot understand the reality of working in the industry, or both. Good reasons for democratic workers’ control and management of the industry under public ownership.

On 20 June, the RMT set up a ‘negotiating table’, outside the main office in Nottingham as the company won’t come to the table to negotiate. The company prefers to pay managers an extra £275 to work the Sunday and to try to undermine the strike action. It isn’t working, and pickets are in good spirits.

In fact, managers were so annoyed they called the police, who could see that it was a waste of their time.

At a time when East Midlands Railway shareholders have been gladly accepting government funds, it is completely unscrupulous of management to ask workers to now accept attacks on working conditions on top of a two-year pay freeze.

Nottingham Socialist Party members and National Shop Stewards Network supporters