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RMT pickets outside Leeds train station

RMT pickets outside Leeds train station

RMT members working in the Northern Rail Customer Relations department were out on strike this Monday over attempts to downgrade their posts to one which attracts £5,000 less in pay.

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

Already a few workers have been brought in on the lower grading, including a worker on a temporary contract who could only get a full time job by taking one at the lower grading. The employer now plans on a pay freeze for the existing staff until the new grade catches up with their current pay.

One striker said ” This is a matter of dignity and respect toward the idea that our grade should be cut in half on the basis market forces. Like a rent review in reverse. We lose grade due to the pay rises we have achieved through our organised labour. That is if the process was to be believed; the Hay Evaluation, from which we saw no evidence, was in our opinion flawed.”

“The new starters will come in with a lower salary and status doing the same job! I am aware it happens in some other sectors but its new on the railway. It is morally wrong and people have taken a principled stand. This was not foreseen by management who  thought people would look no further than their own noses and so underestimated people values how smaller struggles can still be fought in pockets. The message I would like to convey is that it is worth fighting every step of the way in some cases simply because we still can.”