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TSSA in Dispute Over Union Busting Transfer

15 March 2019

Industrial action on Britain's freight trains is on the cards after the TSSA rail union declared a dispute with its German government owners Deutsche Bahn Cargo (DBC).

General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, believes the German government is using Brexit as a pretext to reorganise the business and is hiving off skilled and unionised workers to a company with a history of union busting.

He is challenging hapless Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, to "find a backbone" and "stick up for British based workers" and prevent DBC selling out on their rights as they transfer rail business in Wakefield and Trafford Park terminals to anti-union haulage company, Maritime.

Sixteen jobs are due to be transferred to Maritime from DBC on April 1. Maritime is currently refusing to recognise our members right to retail their union rights.

Said Cortes: "Union rights aren't a luxury and it is an outrage that Maritime think they can simply shove our members around. It also shows that they have suspect work practices in store for our members. Our union will stick up for them.

"We have long warned that the Tories would use Brexit to light a bonfire of workers’ rights and I'm afraid what's going on at DBC proves we are right.

"The fall in the value of the pound is hitting DBC hard as profits repatriated to Germany from the UK have taken a massive devaluation hit. This is opening the door for a ‘race to the bottom’ operators like Maritime haulage with its long history of anti-union practice to get a foothold in our British rail industry.

"Right now it's workers union rights they are prepared to auction off. Then it'll be wages they start to cut. Soon after, rail safety standards. So it's not hard to see why we are in dispute. It's also why i am warning DBC that industrial action is firmly on the cards.

"In the meantime, my challenge to Transport Secretary, Failing Grayling, is to find a backbone, stick two fingers up at Deutsche Bahn Cargo and try for once to stick up for British based workers by ensuring their union rights, their wages, their future job security and the safety of our railway are protected, as Brexit makes British business less competitive.

"The sure way to do this would be to take freight into British government control and put Westminster not the Bundestag back in charge of our railway freight."

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