Union seeks positive GB Railfreight vote

25 January 2013

The general secretary has written to all ASLEF members working in GB Railfreight urging them to vote YES in the forthcoming ballot for industrial action in the company. Ballot papers will be with members next week.

The dispute centres around the company’s intention to introduce a new grade - Assistant Train Manager Enhanced (ATME) – despite serious union objections. Our reservations are

  • introducing this new grade would put members’ safety and jobs in jeopardy
  • even if this were negotiated, GB Railfreight is offering insufficient financial inducements to ATMs.

ATMs would be expected to arrive at a Tiii possession without Route Knowledge, be briefed on the route and work trains within those parameters irrespective of distance involved. At the same time one qualified Train Manager (TM) will be required to remain within the possession and oversee the work of the ATM. So they want Train Managers to take additional responsibility, offer greater productivity – and be rewarded for neither.

The proposal would cut the number of Train Managers and leave ATMs with huge additional responsibilities - without proper training about the risks involved in the routes.

‘This dispute is entirely about GB Railfreight’s greed for profits,’ Mick Whelan says. ‘Assistant TMs deserve better, Train Managers deserve better. Whatever your grade - this proposal will affect you.

‘That is why we urge all members to vote YES in the consultative ballot.’

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