Latest Rail News

15.06.16

RMT announces Southern and ScotRail strikes for next week

Southern conductors are to strike next week over plans to change their role on the network from August to on-board supervisors, while guards on ScotRail are to take part in a series of strikes in coming weeks in a dispute over driver-operated only (DOO) trains.

GTR, which owns Southern, has condemned the action due to take place on 21 June. The operator confirmed it is pushing ahead with the new role of on-board supervisors, which is says protects all conductors’ job, commencing on 21 August.

The operator says the new role will keep conductors on trains re-focusing their tasks in favour of face-to-face customer service to passengers.

As part of its move to driver-operated only (DOO) trains, GTR said the responsibility for closing train doors will move from the conductor to the driver as they do on over 60% of the 3,200 trains operated on its network.

Dyan Crowther, chief operating officer at GTR, said: “Despite six months of talks, the RMT gave us no practical plan to implement the new role at Acas – instead we have this announcement of a totally unnecessary strike. We now have no option but to confirm the implementation of the new role.

“This new on-board role will keep people on trains, and re-focus their roles on assisting passengers. No-one is losing their job, and as many services will have someone on board as they do today.”

RMT said it is unhappy that GTR is removing the “safety critical” role, and previously conductors went on strike for two days in April.

In a letter sent to members, the RMT said: “Talks at Acas have now broken down. Rather than engage in meaningful negotiations, the company just raked over old ground and made veiled threats against the RMT and its members.

“After careful consideration, the union’s national executive committee has decided to call further industrial action. I have informed the company that we remain available for talks and I hope that management will see sense and take the necessary steps to resolve this dispute.”

ScotRail dispute

North of the border, RMT has announced that guards on ScotRail are to stage a series of six strikes in the coming weeks in a dispute over DOO trains.

Last week, the union confirmed that members had voted overwhelmingly for both strike action (75%) and industrial action short of a strike over the extension of DOO and Driver Controlled Operation (DCO) on ScotRail.

The first 24-hour walk-out is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 21 June, with a 48-hour strike the following weekend. 

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “It is extraordinary that Abellio/ScotRail continue to ignore the strength of feeling amongst their staff over the extension of DOO and that they are still trying to by-pass the normal negotiating machinery.

“The workforce know that any extension of DOO or DCO is a clear attack on our members hard earned terms and conditions. RMT members should not have to face the risk of their role and responsibilities being reduced and undermined.”

The union has instructed members not to book on for duty from:

  • 0001 hours and 2359 hours Tuesday 21 June 2016
  • 0001 hours and 2359 hours Thursday 23 June 2016
  • 0001 hours Saturday 25 June 2016 and 2359 hours Sunday 26 June 2016
  • 0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 3 July 2016
  • 0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 10 July 2016
  • 0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 17 July 2016

A spokeswoman for ScotRail said the operator believes that the solution to the dispute lies in talks not strikes, and “we look forward to getting round the table again for continued talks with RMT”.

Comments

Kevinr   17/06/2016 at 13:02

Thanks RTM for producing a calendar of the strike action Here is a novel idea, why don't all unionized workers who soak up their General Secretary propaganda, simply strike on the same day? It could be in objection to "the constant strives of global efficiencies, competitiveness, productivity & engineering improvements within our industry we see as detrimental to our work[sic]force" Summer may appear & the football's still on?

Merseyferry   17/06/2016 at 14:38

i travel regular on Southern trains and have seen many near misses where passengers are caught in the doors because drivers cannot see all the train in some stations and because the stations are poorly maned. Introducing supervisors instead on DOO trains will NOT cure this.

Gabriel Oaks   20/06/2016 at 06:26

The debate on DOO has long passed and there is no evidence to demonstrate that it is any less safe than guards closing the doors. For example all Thameslink and LUL services are DOO. The Unions appear to be out of step with this one and any public support will be ebbing away as strikes continue. The sick-leave strikes do not assist either as passengers will see these for what they are with staff left in a vulnerable situation if their sick-leave is found not to be real. Notwithstanding this both sides should remain in talks but I perceive the patience of passengers is wearing pretty thin.

Iain Case   20/06/2016 at 11:16

Striking under the pretext of 'sickness' is morally repugnant and casts a shadow over those employees who are genuinely unwell (including those with chronic and disabling conditions who try hard to keep coming to work). In this respect 'sickkie strikers' should be thoroughly ashamed of their actions.

Martin T   22/06/2016 at 18:35

At last we get the truth from the RMT. It is nothing about safety as the following statement shows: “The workforce know that any extension of DOO or DCO is a clear attack on our members hard earned terms and conditions. RMT members should not have to face the risk of their role and responsibilities being reduced and undermined.” The RMT naturally - and no-one can blame them for wanting to screw as much money out of passengers as possible - wants to continue to have the abiilty to prevent trains running when its guards/conductors want a pay rise.

Pauline   23/06/2016 at 18:03

Traveling from Stirling to Pitlochry on sat 25th June have bought advance tickets should I make alternative transport or will the strike be finished Kind regards

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