Sunday, 6 September 2009

A Sunday shambles!

London Midland runs about 1,200 train services, calling at 149 stations between London, the Midlands and the North West. It relies on drivers volunteering to staff its trains on Sundays but this week not enough had offered to work, so services will not run. Rail users' groups have called the situation "a shambles" and the company's unions have said it could have been avoided. "This weekend, so few have volunteered to work, that we have had no choice but to cancel services," said a spokesman for the company. Bob Crow, who is general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT) said the move was not organised action by workers but simply a case of the contractual right not to work being exercised. "Their contracts of employment say they're not forced to work on a Sunday, so it's their choice." As far as passengers are concerned, a user commented, "It's a shambles. How can they run an essential service on a voluntary basis? It's an astonishing way to operate a train service." Understandably, the government has been urged to look into the firm's voluntary work rules.

  • How could this situation have been prevented?
  • What are the advantages to both a company and its employees of paying overtime when additional work is required?
  • What are the typical premium rates that an employee might receive for working overtime on (a) a normal working day, (b) a weekend, and (c) a Bank Holiday?
  • Can a company require its employees to work on a Sunday?
  • How could a refusal to ever work on a Sunday limit an individual's career development
  • Research activity: Explore the work of Keep Sunday Special who campaign for Sunday remaining primarily a day of rest for family, friends and community.
  • What happened next? Suggestion for further activity: the dispute has now developed and a resolution seems to have been reached. Discuss the possible solutions to this employee relations issue, and then read the attached article to see what actually happened.

Stay-away train drivers have Sunday double pay reinstated

No comments:

Post a Comment