NXEA vote : management attitude change needed

16 July 2009

ASLEF members have voted by a margin of 95.5% to 4.5% to take industrial action in National Express East Anglia (NXEA). Keith Norman, the union’s general secretary, says that the ballot shows ‘a massive vote of no confidence’ in managers in the company.

 

‘They are clearly out of touch with their employees and need to begin treating our members with dignity and respect rather than arrogance and severity,’ he said.

 

Keith says that NXEA managers need to heed the margin of the vote. ‘The particular issue that led to this crisis was a vote on pay. But the massive ‘yes’ vote indicates difficulties that are far deeper rooted.

 

‘The company needs to eradicate authoritarian attitudes and draconian discipline. They show the management style of a previous millennium.’

 

Meanwhile Andy Morrison, the lead ASLEF officer in talks with the company, says he is ‘negotiating in the dark’.

 

‘The company refuses to present us with a clear picture of their finances. In its report to shareholders, it says it will remain profitable – in its talks with us, it says it will not. The Chief Executive Richard Bowker told shareholders the company had achieved 5% growth and the company would remain profitable with revenue support. In meetings with us, this is all denied in favour of a picture of doom and gloom. So which is true? It is impossible for us to have a rational discussion on this basis,’ Andy says.

 

The first strike day is due to be 30 July. ‘The union is always prepared to meet the company on behalf of our 800 members – but it will require a very different attitude if any progress is to be made,’ Andy adds.

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