Unions meet to address serious concerns with NEX/ALSA

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) brought together unions representing National Express (NEX)/ALSA workers across Spain, North America and the United Kingdom during the week of February 19, 2018 in Madrid. Attendees included the FSC-CCOO of Comisiones Obreras and Unión General de Trabajadores (Spain), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (North America) and Unite the Union (United Kingdom).

The meeting focused on NEX’s inconsistent approach to labour relations across its global operations.  NEX, which operates as Durham School Service in the US, has led an on-going and systematic campaign to undermine union organising efforts in the US. Teamster representatives shared documented reports from workers in the US that substantiate their claims.

NEX’s hostile actions often include serious intimidation and harassment of workers and create a culture of fear in the workplace.  NEX’s actions have created an adversarial relationship between the company and its workers, thus preventing a collaborative approach that would ensure the safest transportation to the communities the workers serve.

British and Spanish unions noted that the approach in the US is at odds with NEX’s stated position on trade unions and inconsistent with its approach in the UK and Spain.  The unions committed themselves to working together to encourage NEX and its national subsidiaries to promote constructive dialogue at all levels between unions and the company and development a more positive and collaborative relationship in all countries they operate

Mario Martín Moreno, general secretary of the road transport section of FSC-CCOO, said: “Workers at NEX/ALSA are providing the same professional service in Spain as drivers in North America, the United Kingdom and beyond.”

He went on to say “CC.OO members are committed to standing with workers across the globe in calling on the company to adhere to the highest standards when it comes to treatment of its workers and the recognition of their rights to join and take part in the activities of trade unions.  Where you come from or work shouldn’t affect the rights you have or the respect you deserve from your employer.”

Diego Buenestado, general secretary of Roads and Urban Transport sections of UGT, stated: “We understand that the CEO of National Express-North America will be meeting with the Teamsters on March 19.  We encourage him to use this opportunity to commit to changing the company’s approach and ending hostilities towards Union organising. We urge positive, constructive dialogue between the parties that ensures proper respect for workers and their Union in the US, in the same way as we are respected here in Spain.  The company has made it clear that it puts great value on its operations in each of our countries and we expect them to put the same value on the treatment of their workers and approach to unions in each county too.”

Noel Coard, ITF inland transport section secretary, said: “Regardless of the name or location of the company’s business, this is one company with one Board of Directors. It should apply one set of rules and operate one single positive approach to unions.” He added “The ITF is committed to working with our affiliated unions to ensure that a company like NEX, is held accountable for its treatment of workers throughout the world.”


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