Hundreds of staff to be balloted in dispute over ‘intimidating’ performance management procedures


Photo: Jonathan Warren

Following what it calls a ‘comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations’, the RMT has announced it is balloting hundreds of staff at Cross Country Trains for strike action in a dispute over ‘intimidating’ performance management procedures.

Cross Country services are based in Birmingham and cover major routes linking Cornwall to Aberdeenshire.

RMT says it will be balloting train managers, senior conductors and on-board catering staff.

The union is also demanding the reinstatement of a union safety rep, Michele Douglass, who the RMT says has been unfairly charged with gross misconduct and dismissed.

General secretary Bob Crow said: “As a result of the total collapse of industrial relations across a whole raft of matters RMT has informed Cross Country that a dispute situation now exists between our two organisations and that we will remain in dispute until all these issues are resolved to our satisfaction.

“In addition, we now have the blatant victimisation of our member Michele Douglass for her trade union activities which is an attack on the RMT as a trade union and its ability to represent and support our members within Cross Country.

‘This vicious assault on our organisation and the right of union reps to organise effectively cannot, and will not be tolerated and will be met with the strongest resistance.

“The union’s executive has confirmed a ballot of all our On Train and Catering Grade members on both the breakdown in industrial relations and in defence of Michele Douglass.

“In both ballots members will be asked to vote for strike action and industrial action short of a strike.

“RMT has informed Cross Country that the union remains available for talks and we hope that management will see sense and take the necessary steps to resolve this dispute.”

The ballot is due to close on Tuesday 11 December.

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