TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has written to the boss of Avanti West Coast to formally ask that the train operating company abandon plans to bring in see through uniforms.
The blouses of the uniforms - which allow bras to be seen from the front and back - have caused alarm among women staff members and have been described as “disgraceful” and “appalling”.
Cortes took the step of writing to Avanti Managing Director, Phil Whittingham, as a matter of urgency, with the new uniforms due in service immediately after Easter (Tuesday 19 April).
In his letter Cortes states - ‘women members of our union have said they are appalled and feel exposed by the blouses which show their bras from both the back and the front. This is disgraceful treatment of the workforce’.
Avanti held no consultation with TSSA about the uniforms. The union has said the outfit will make women targets of sexual harassment, especially late at night.
The full text of Manuel Cortes’ letter can be found below -
Dear Phil Whittingham
I’m writing to you over the Easter weekend as Avanti’s plans to bring in see through uniforms for staff as of Tuesday (19th April) is a matter which demands your urgent attention.
The purpose of this letter is to formally ask that you withdraw the blouses which have caused so much alarm not just among our women members but all women expected to wear them. We also want Avanti to enter into consultation with our workplace Reps about replacement uniforms.
Women members of our union have said they are appalled and feel exposed by the blouses which show their bras from both the back and the front. This is disgraceful treatment of the workforce, which seems to be done in the name of providing the very cheapest materials available.
Please withdraw these uniforms which make women targets, and work together with our union on finding a suitable alternative so Avanti staff, our hard-working members, have the respect they rightly deserve.
No progressive company need act in such a disrespectful way. I look forward to your immediate action before the uniforms come into service.
TSSA General Secretary