Friday, September 20, 2013

Driver Strike Proposed at Express Freight and Parcel Carrier Called Off

RMT Withdraw from Industrial Action Following Application for Court Injunction
Shipping News Feature

UK – Following a fairly inflammatory statement this week by transport union RMT boss Bob Crow that the organisation’s members members were ‘up for this fight’ as detailed in our recent story, it seems that the union boss’s prediction that hundreds of its members would conduct a week long stoppage at express freight and parcel carrier City Link from Monday was a little premature.

Following up the company’s promise to place the matter before the Court, City Link subsequently made an application to the High Court for an injunction to stop the strike taking place. This has led the RMT to withdraw its notification of intent to strike, announced following the result of a ballot of drivers which it published earlier this month. Scott Maynard, HR Director, City Link commented:

"We are pleased that the RMT have called off next week’s driver strike. This is the right outcome for our customers and our colleagues. At the heart of this dispute have been our efforts to make pay and conditions fair for all our front line colleagues and we remain entirely convinced that this is the right thing to do.

“Our approach has always been to ensure that the views of all City Link colleagues are heard, respected and where appropriate reflected in our plans and we will, of course, continue to do this. City Link has made tremendous progress over the last few months and we are now keen to forge ahead as a team, focused on delivering the very best customer experience in the UK parcels industry.”

Mr Crow it seems was not best pleased by the current setback nor the comment that less than 6% of the City Link workforce had actually voted for the strike. In an open letter on the RMT website he commented:

“As you now know City Link management went running to their lawyers challenging our ballot and using the anti-trade union legislation to stop you taking industrial action. I regret that because of these laws it has been necessary to cancel the strike action that was due to commence on Tuesday and you are instructed to work normally. The main problem we faced was the fact that sub-contractors were included in the ballot and this is something we are addressing.

“But let me make something abundantly clear this is not the end. We are determined, with your support, to continue the fight to protect your terms and conditions so we are still not advising you to sign the new contracts. We will be re-balloting members shortly so that should it be necessary to take industrial action it will be at the company’s busiest time, the Christmas period.”