NEARLY 3,000 RMT union members working for rail contractor Jarvis were to begin voting for strike action this week to protect their employment rights when they are transferred to Network Rail. Jarvis's maintenance contracts are due to be brought in-house and the workers re-employed by Network Rail on 1 April.
'We have tried to get guarantees of no compulsory redundancies, and an undertaking to protect conditions,' says Bill Rawcliffe of the RMT on Jarvis. 'But such assurances have not been forthcoming.' RMT general secretary Bob Crow says, 'For a company that made the choice to hand its contracts back to Network Rail, its treatment of loyal staff who want a long term future on the railways has been nothing short of a disgrace.'
The RMT has also advised its members on Jarvis not to attend briefing meetings called by Network Rail until agreement has been reached.
CATERING workers in the RMT on Virgin trains have voted by 97 votes to three for strikes against long hours. The workers are set to strike on 8 and 30 April. They want a change of rosters so they don't have to do backbreaking 14-hour shifts.