Further to previous updates, we met with Thales Management today and the following items were discussed:
* The RMT re-Ballot
* Compulsory Redundancy
* Roster Changes
We expressed our disappointment that Thales had decided to instruct their solicitors to use the anti-trade union laws to say that our previous ballot notice was illegal. Their challenge was on the basis that the ballot notice was against Thales GTS that our members believe they work for, whilst the Thales Solicitors stated that the ‘actual’ employers are Thales Transport and Security.
Therefore we had no choice but to reissue new ballot papers. We expressed today that we believe this is poor industrial relations and we believe will make members even more determined to vote YES in the ballot.
Thales have stated that they believe there will be positions for the members at risk within the organisation and that they will be interviewed for the roles. We pushed our point that we are against compulsory redundancies and that Thales need only withdraw that threat and ‘ring fence’ the available roles for those at risk. Thales are not in the position to do this and therefore our members remain at risk of being forceably made unemployed. This is a principle that affects everyone and no wants to see people on the dole and losing their homes etc especially when there is work for them to do, so therefore we remain in dispute on this matter.
Once again Thales stated that they don’t understand why we are in dispute on this matter when we haven’t even had talks! We once again explained that we’ve met many times, and whatever way they dress it up, they want to move the rosters away from 12 hour shifts. Our members have told us that they do not want that and we’ve detailed once again why the answer to changing the rosters is a no.
The truth is that our members like their time off, they like less travel, they like less need for child care, less need to lodge in London. There are many reasons why our members do not want to move from a 12 hour shift position and we once again told Thales what these were. It is not that we are not talking, the reality is that this is about Thales insisting that members move away from a 12 hour shift pattern.
Thales insist that they want to move away from this and won’t withdraw these rosters. We therefore remain in dispute.
We have however, in the spirit of trying to reach a settlement, said we want the roster agreement signed off to give terms of reference for how the rosters will work, the business coverage requirements so that we can build that into existing rosters, the actual number of Network Analysists that Thales want, where it’s 12 or 15, and a copy of the management proposals to show clearly how they perceive the roster will look.
To that end the ballot notices will drop through your door over the next few days, so I’d strongly urge you to vote YES for Industrial Action and YES for action short
RMT Branch Secretary
LU Engineering (0962)
07810 643 681