RMT Demands An End To Agencies, With Workers Given Permanent Jobs Instead
We believe that railway employers are increasingly using agencies such as Trainpeople, in order to casualise the workforce, prepare for job cuts, and undermine our power to take effective strike action. The use of agencies is part of the employers’ and government’s strategy for pursuing the McNulty proposals.
We believe that every railway worker is entitled to a permanent, secure job. We therefore demand an end to the use of agencies, with their employees offered direct employment with the railway company at which they work.
We instruct the General Secretary to organise a campaign targeting Trainpeople:
1. Conduct a mapping exercise to establish where Trainpeople supplies staff, requesting information
from lead officers and representatives at the companies which Trainpeople claims to be its clients, and
compiling data about the number of agency staff, their locations and the work they do.
2. Identify issues and demands for Trainpeople staff:
- establish whether Trainpeople is meeting its legal obligations under the Agency Worker Regulations
2010, including rates of pay, and facilities (including staff travel)
- compile information about mistreatment of Trainpeople staff in local areas, including investigating
reports of: staff required to travel in their own time to collect equipment (Meadowhall); late or non-
payment of wages (London Underground)
- provide support and representation for Trainpeople members on these issues
3. Recruit and organise Trainpeople staff:
- produce a recruitment leaflet specifically addressed to Trainpeople staff
- refer to the Council of Executives our recommendation for a reduced subscription rate
- seek recognition with Trainpeople
4. Appoint a lead officer for Trainpeople.
5. Encourage all branches and Regional Councils with Trainpeople in their area to nominate an activist
to be responsible for this campaign, leading recruitment, organising and liaison with Trainpeople staff,
and identifying issues, demands and any need for representation and support.
6. Compile and publicise information on how Trainpeople rips off the transport industry, including its
profits, the discrepancies between the fees it receive for supplying staff and the wages it pays them,
and the record and suitability of its owners and directors.
7. Place a progress report in front of us within 28 days.
We further note – and deplore - the use of agency staff to undermine industrial action, for example in
the current cleaners’ dispute on London Underground. We instruct the General Secretary to provide all
necessary assistance to our lead officer and representatives in challenging this.
We further resolve that the union devise a serious campaign across the railway industry for the
replacement of agencies with permanent, direct employment; and to recruit and organise agency
workers, fighting for improvements in their pay, conditions and rights. We therefore instruct the General
1. Ensure that RMT demands of all employers with which the union has recognition that they cease the
use of agencies and offer permanent, secure employment to agency staff; obtain reports from all lead
officers on progress with this, and place these reports in front of us.
2. Produce a pamphlet for representatives and branches, explaining our union’s policy on the use of
agencies, the recruitment of agency staff to the union, and the legal rights of agency workers, including
the Agency Workers’ Regulations 2010 and the Swedish derogation model.
3. Send to all Regional Councils and branches the full Swedish Derogation briefing held on file.
4. Draft and place in front of us a concise ‘know your rights’ guide for agency staff.
5. Place the issue of use of agencies in front of us within 28 days, as a separate issue from the specific
Trainpeople campaign, and linked to any existing file on this subject.