The recently recognised AA Democratic Union (AADU) has been branded impotent by the GMB after the road services group ditched uniformed night patrols.
Workers who were on regular nights were last week moved to lower-paid day and evening shifts as London became the final part of the UK to lose 24-hour shifts.
Rival union the GMB slated the move, insisting it was a cost-cutting exercise from the AA’s venture capitalist owners that the AADU was powerless to stop.
GMB senior organiser Paul Maloney told Personnel Today: “The AADU can do nothing because it is tied to the management. It is handcuffed and shackled.”
The AADU conceded that some staff had been unhappy with the changes. National president Ian Allen said: “No-one is happy with change, so it is how we control that. We consulted at the time and no grievances were raised. We have moved on from it now.”
The AA said only a small number of people had been affected by the shift changes, and they were all happy. Some will stay on to work overtime, or on a pay-per-job basis, to provide breakdown cover for AA members between 2am and 6am.
The AADU was formed by former GMB members at the AA in 2005 after venture capitalists CVC and Permira bought the company for £1.75bn. Last month, AADU received full independent status from the government’s regulatory body for unions.