14 February 2017
TSSA have won a battle with Dutch rail company Abellio over the right of it's call centre workers in Scotland to be able to belong to a union.
TSSA organisers will now be granted access to the Fort William-based national call-centre this week where at least 57 employees have, until now, been denied union rights since Abellio took over the ScotRail franchise in April 2015.
Our victory comes after TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes spoke to Scottish media at the weekend to expose the Victorian-style industrial relations being practiced by the company, who until now, had failed to respond to a single of the many requests from TSSA to be given access to the Fort William employees.
Following the negative publicity surrounding Abellio's breach of best industrial relations practice laid down in the Scottish Government's own Fair Work Framework, Abellio have agreed to open their Fort William doors to TSSA Scottish Organisers, Liz Warren-Corney and Gemma Welsh this Thursday morning.
"TSSA is the union which represents clerical and back office staff across the rail and transport industries. Theses days that includes call-centres. We should have definitely been allowed access from Day One to enable the Fort William staff to excercise their right to choose whether to belong to a union. In my experience, bosses who block their employees access to trades union representation, however nice they may seem in person, always playing a game of divide and rule with their staff. Its why collective representation and bargaining works better for employees and always makes happier workplaces.
"Trades union rights mean an employees do not have to depend on personal individual favours, the kindness, or the personality of the boss. Trades union rights are about one thing and one thing only: fairness at work, safety at work and maintaining employees right to a work-life balance.
"I thank Abellio for their quick climb-down following the bad publicity and I thank the Scottish media too for taking up this story and for understanding good, progressive,ndustrial relations involve collaborating with unions rather than the Tory-bashing of them which is still sadly all too common south of the border.
"I would encourage other workers to take heart from this decision. If you are in the transport & travel industry and thinkyou and your colleagues deserve union recognition, contact us. If you're in other workplaces, still contact us and we'll point you in the right direction.
"And to the call centre staff in Fort William, I say TSSA looks forward to meeting you. Our organisers Liz and Gemma will be with you on Thursday morning from 10am til 1pm. Please look out for them and please take advantage of then rights to which you are legally - and morally - entitled."