After representations were made to us by the RMT’s legal team, Network Rail has agreed to adjourn our application for an injunction at the High Court to prevent a national rail strike until 10am Thursday 1 April. Our position remains that we have uncovered what it believes to be scores of inaccuracies and deficiencies with the signallers ballot leading the company to conclude in its papers to the RMT that it had ’ manifestly failed to comply with the requirements of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act of 1992’.
The signallers vote for strike action was very close with just 112 of the 4,556 balloted needing a different outcome to change the results from ‘yes’ to no’. The inaccuracies and discrepancies uncovered by the company impact upon almost 300 votes or potential votes
Robin Gisby, director of operations and customer services, said: “We believe we have uncovered scores of inaccuracies and discrepancies in the RMT’s signallers ballot that in our view, makes it invalid.
“We want to find a negotiated settlement to this dispute and talks continue but we have a responsibility to the entire country to head off this strike and let people enjoy their Easter break.”
These inaccuracies include:
· 11 signal boxes have been balloted by the RMT that do not exist - most have been closed for years
o For example, RMT balloted members at Chalford signal box, near Gloucester, closed in 1965/6. It also balloted members at East Usk signal box, Newport, that burnt down in April 2009
· 67 locations have been balloted where the numbers of RMT members exceeds the total number of employees that work there
o For example, we have three employees at South Tottenham, the RMT asked 11 members to vote. We have 24 employees at Crewe and the RMT invited 33 members to vote
· 26 workplaces (such as Rugby signal box) amounting to almost 100 employees, have been completely missed thereby giving RMT members at these locations no opportunity to vote
· 12 locations were balloted where there are no operations staff at all and thus were ineligible to vote