by Tim Lezard Nautilus International has expressed concern at Stena Line’s failure to meet for follow-up discussions after it withdrew a controversial cost-cutting package earlier this year. The union says the company has failed to respond to re …

 

Nautilusby Tim Lezard

Nautilus International has expressed concern at Stena Line’s failure to meet for follow-up discussions after it withdrew a controversial cost-cutting package earlier this year.

The union says the company has failed to respond to repeated requests for meetings to discuss the way ahead after it dropped plans to make sweeping changes in members’ pay and conditions as part of a £10m savings programme announced in January.

Senior national secretary Garry Elliott said: “When Stena withdrew the proposals in June, it agreed to explore the potential for alternative ways to reduce costs. It is of deep concern to us that we have been unable to engage management in any meaningful dialogue since then.

“It is ridiculous the company deemed these issues so serious that ten months ago it demanded millions in savings, yet now management seem to be unable to find a date to discuss them.

“We have written to the company in the strongest possible terms requesting clarity on why no dialogue has occurred. We believe that the lack of dialogue since June, when the employer agreed to protect existing terms and conditions, can only lead to further uncertainty and concern for what lies ahead and it will have a profoundly negative effect on the retention of officers unless the company communicates with representative unions.”

Nautilus has requested discussions on issues including career progression, study leave, vacancies, harmonisation, and differentials, as well as recognising the need to negotiate on proposals for new-start salaries for employees joining the company. The union has also urged the company to indicate its intention in the forthcoming 2015 pay and conditions negotiations – warning that any move to seek a further pay freeze would be seen as ‘a confrontational stance.

Garry Elliot said: “Nautilus is seeking to be proactive, positive and professional in pursuing future discussions with the company. However, our patience – and that of our members – is rapidly running out and there is an increasingly urgent need for management to engage in open and constructive dialogue.”


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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