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Spy in the cab

Lift workers strike over unreliable tracker device
Hajera Blagg, Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Angered over a tracker device measuring workloads inaccurately, more than 300 engineering service workers employed by lift firm Kone took strike action today (April 7).


The vehicle tracker device, known as VAMS, has shown itself to be unreliable, Unite contends. For example, one driver was alleged to have driven 1,000 miles in one day – without refuelling.


Unite national officer Linda McCulloch argued that the tracker device’s inaccurate reporting could mean grave consequences for workers and their wages.


“Evidence has shown the mileage recorded by VAMS for business or private use is not accurate and exaggerates the amount of mileage being completed,” she said. “It is ‘a spy in the cab’ that does not function properly, so it is understandable that our members are angry.


“This will lead to employees being wrongly assessed for private mileage and could lead to wrong deductions from wages and ultimately disciplinary situations,” McCulloch added.


Unite is not against VAMS in principle if used for health and safety purposes. The union is now seeking a framework document to iron out the problems with the tracker device’s usage, a request that management has thus far refused.


A framework agreement already exists for handheld devices, and Unite is looking for a similar agreement for VAMS.


Unite’s members participating in the strike service lifts, doors and escalators across the UK, including at Gatwick and Heathrow airports.


Today’s strike set to end at 6am tomorrow (April 8) follows two one-day strikes last week. A continuous ban on overtime, on-call and night-time call-outs is also in place. More strikes over the next 12 weeks are also on the horizon if an agreement is not reached.


The strike has been overwhelmingly supported by members, with 81 per cent supporting strike action and 91 per cent favouring industrial action short of a strike.



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