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LATEST NEWS: Panel backs union claim in Norfolk Green bus dispute

RMT Demonstration at King's Lynn Bus Station ANL-150526-170100009
RMT Demonstration at King's Lynn Bus Station ANL-150526-170100009

The threat of strike action on West Norfolk and South Holland’s bus services appears to have been averted for now after a union won its battle for recognition rights.

A Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) panel has today found in favour of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union in its dispute with Norfolk Green over the issue.

So far, there has been no official reaction from the union but Andy Campbell, managing director of Norfolk Green’s parent company, Stagecoach East, said: “We will abide by any decision by the CAC.

“As soon as everything has been ratified, I’m sure we will sit down and talk.”

Last month, the RMT announced it would ballot members for industrial action over the dispute relating to staff at the King’s Lynn depot.

The dispute affects services including the 505 from King’s Lynn to Spalding.

It claimed the company was refusing to grant recognition rights even though a majority of the staff working there are RMT members, because of a region-wide collective bargaining arrangement with the Unite union.

And the panel’s report, which was compiled following a hearing in London on Wednesday, suggests that an agreement was reached between the RMT and company managers prior to the switch of the operation to Stagecoach East at the beginning of May.

The report said: “In an e-mail to the Case Manager dated 12 April 2015 the Union stated that it had met the Employer on 9 April 2015 and that the parties had agreed a bargaining unit.”

It added that both parties had confirmed the arrangement in subsequent correspondence four days later and almost two weeks before the panel was told of the intention to switch the running of Norfolk Green to Stagecoach East.

However, Mr Campbell said he believed the company’s previous management had not been keen on completing any union recognition agreements.

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