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Heathrow Drivers Dispute Over Pay

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

GMB Heathrow Drivers To Take Industrial Action In Pay Dispute As Real Value Of Earnings Fall By 12% Over The Last Seven Years

This action has the potential to severely disrupt travellers’ trips to and from Heathrow and other major London and south east destinations from that date says GMB.

Over 100 GMB members working for Tri-Star the largest private hire firm operating at Heathrow have voted to take industrial action in a dispute over pay from Thursday 18th April 2013.

These drivers have been offered a pay increase of 5 pence an hour. This was offered in April 2012 and is tied to a change in rosters that require drivers to work on their rest days just to get the pay rise. Both the amount and the strings have been rejected.

As part of the industrial action these professional drivers will not work any overtime, will work strictly to their employment contracts regarding start and finish times, rest breaks, taking last jobs, and Working Time Directive rules on minimum overnight rest breaks and consecutive working days.

The original GMB pay claim in March 2012 asked the company to review wages taking account of the lack of any real improvement in pay in recent years and the level of inflation in the past 12 months.

GMB members rejected an original company offer in July 2012 and a revised company offer in December 2012. The members subsequently voted to take industrial action which will start with this working to rule.

Over the 7 years from June ’06 cumulative pay rises for these chauffeurs’ amount to 70 pence an hour. This is an increase of only 12.7% well below the rate of inflation 24.74% for that period since then.

In June ’06 for example, an Executive Chauffeur with less than 1 year service was earning £5.50 an hour. With the current offer for 2012-2013 the average hourly pay across the year would be about £6.80 an hour which included 60 pence per hour was that consolidated from the bonus scheme into the hourly rate in 2007 to compensate for the termination of a bonus scheme. So the actual increase over that period is 70 pence per hour.

Paul Campbell, GMB Organiser said, “These members will take industrial action from Thursday 18th April. This action has the potential to severely disrupt travellers’ trips to and from Heathrow and other major London and south east destinations from that date.

These members have had pay rises well below the rate of inflation. Also the loss of a subsistence scheme in 2011 cut their take home pay. This effectively wiped out the hourly rate rise awarded in 2011-2012. The pay freeze in 2009-2010 and the company’s insistence on reductions or non payment of the lump sum payments awarded in 2010-2011 mean many chauffeurs have not had any increase in take home pay for 3 years.

The pay increase of 5 pence an hour from that offered back in April 2012 is tied to a change in rosters that require drivers to work on their rest days just to get the pay rise.

Despite claims by the company, the total hourly rate rise offered is below average inflation in the 12 month period prior to June 2012.

GMB members know that the company is unwilling to go to independent binding arbitration and have delayed and protracted the pay negotiations over an 8 month period. The company is now saying no to  backdating elements contained in the original offer so the current offer is actually less than that offered originally in April last year.”

Ends

Contact: Tony Warr 07710 631 336 or Dave Powel on 07710 631 349 or 0208 202 8272 or GMB Press Office; 07974 251823 or 07921 289880 of GMB Press Office on 020 7391 6755/56.

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