December 17, 2009 by welshcyclist
Not a good week, since Monday I’ve been involved in industrial action, i.e., on strike. It’s over the company’s decision to impose 8 hour rosters, at the new signalling centre in Cardiff, which we’re all to be amalgamated into, over the next few years. We’ve all been working 12 hour shifts for over 10 years now, and anyway our national agreement with the company plainly states rosters are to be negotiated at a local level. The company has decided no negotiation, and want to force the issue, and because of other attacks on our national agreements all over the country, we were ballotted for strike action, here in south Wales.
I’ve been picketing outside my place of work, Port Talbot panel, and sadly had to witness, colleagues who resigned from the union, because they didn’t like the ballot result, a weeks strike, going into work across the picket line. But Newport and Cardiff panels are all out. The company has drafted in managers from all over the country, to run the panels. The beauty is they are working 12 hour shifts to cover our absence, on top of which they have only had a few hours instruction on the panels. The last guy to qualify/ sign for our panel, at Port Talbot, took 6 months to do so. It must be a safety issue, but the regulating authorities, despite being informed of these irregularities, all turn a blind eye, on these occasions. Which basically means they are all in cahoots, even the government is on their side.
Ultimately, they, the company and government, want to defeat the unions, force down wages and workers conditions of service, such as pension rights, because the bankers have virtually bankrupted the country, while the government watched on and did nothing. Now they want the public to pay for their ( the bankers ) greed, and their ( the government’s ) amateurism and incapability.
The lies they all tell, and it is we the public, who let them get away with it, everytime.
Who’s going to fight back?