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RMT demands immediate halt to DOO plans in light of hung Parliament

Rail union RMT has called for an immediate halt to the implementation of driver-only operated (DOO) and driver-controlled operation (DCO) services on the network as a result of today’s hung Parliament announcement, which suggests the Tory policy may lose considerable support.

Speaking after polls revealed earlier today that the Conservatives failed to secure an overall majority – with Labour, led by Jeremy Corbyn, gaining over 30 seats – RMT’s general secretary Mick Cash said: “This election has sent out the clearest possible message that the British people have rejected the Tory programme of cuts, austerity, privatisation and division.

“‎RMT is calling this morning for an immediate halt to the push to axe the guards on our trains. That was a political policy driven by the Tory Party and should now be buried under the weight of votes that have racked up against Theresa May and her programme. There is no mandate for diluting safety on our transport services.”

Praising Labour’s turnaround as a “fantastic development that rocked the political world to its foundations”, Cash revealed he would be writing to Northern, Southern and Merseyrail – the three operators targeted by union industrial action – today “demanding that they lift the threat to the guards on their trains”.

The general secretary argued he expected the TOCs to oblige with immediate effect “in light of this election result”.

Over the last few months – and indeed the past year in the Southern network – RMT members have launched strikes on the three operators’ networks as part of a fight against plans to introduce DOO and DCO services, which would see the guard removed from the train. Despite rail bodies pointing to the contrary, RMT believes this will effectively compromise passenger safety.

The dispute has dragged on for so long – with countless failed talks and rejected deals – that it has even been made the centre focus of a new satirical play, which tells of a romance between two commuters blighted by industrial action, crowded trains and delays.

(Top image c. Nick Ansell/PA Wire)


J, Leicester   09/06/2017 at 13:19

The way this reads, you'd think that Labour were on the cusp of forming a government. Last I checked, the Conservatives will still be able to form an administration with the DUP's support. More bluster from the RMT.

Lutz   09/06/2017 at 15:13

All the more reason to accelerate the introduction of self-propelled autonomous vehicles on the railways.

Thames Valley Rail User   09/06/2017 at 17:42

The quicker full automation of all trains eg DLR comes with signal control and NO drivers the better. RMT have not been elected by the TRAVELLING public. DOO works well elsewhere and they agreed IN WRITING in 2011 to DOO long trains.

Jimbo   09/06/2017 at 18:26

If the conservative party had someone who could spin half as good as Mick Cash, they would have crushed Labour. Sorry mister shouty, the implementation of DOO/DCO was not very high on the general populations priorities - labour vote surged on the promise of freebies, not because they are losing guards they don't need.

Steve B Collins   10/06/2017 at 14:52

The RMT strikes on Southern are now so short and infrequent that they know - and more impoertsntly, their members know - that the union campaign has been lost. Of course the RMT members have not lost at all. They are doing very well retaining all of their benefits - now being paid way above the job they do 99% of the time - and two years' guranteed above-inflation pay rises.

Steve B Collins   10/06/2017 at 14:53

"impoertsntly" - I'm not Donald Trump, honest - I meant importantly.

Andrew Gwilt   11/06/2017 at 09:25

If Jeremy Corbyn could of won the elections and to take over as PM. Then he could of sorted out these kind of strikes and even to re-nationalise the UK's railways if he did took over as PM from Teresa May. Still this will be mentioned all over the UK. #BringBackBritishRail #RenationalisetherailwaysintheUK

Graham D   11/06/2017 at 11:41

To all those who want no staff on trains then you can travel without me The thought that some 'Computer Nerd' could hack into your train and drive it from another country does not sit very well with me and I am sure most others Cheer yourself up with the thought with advances in Robotics and intelligent Software you will not need to travel to your soon to be redundant job!!

J, Leicester   12/06/2017 at 09:42

Doesn't particularly phase me, Graham - the place I work had its passenger rail service severed as early as the 1930s, so unless they learn how to hack traffic lights too I think I'll be okay. I don't think anybody is realistically calling for driverless trains on Southern, anyway - or did the RMT tell you that?

Tothehills   12/06/2017 at 10:31

To Graham D: Just remember both the Paddington and Southall rail crashes would not have happened with Automatic Train Operation of trains and 40 odd people would not have been killed as a result.

Pwt   12/06/2017 at 11:03

Tothehills; I think that you are confusing Automatic Train Operation with Automatic Train Protection. Any ATO system requires to work within the safety envelope created by a complementary ATP system.

Mark Hare   13/06/2017 at 10:54

The travelling public don't want driverless trains. Most if not all passengers feel safer with a member of staff on the train, ideally in the driving cab. The technology and funding to provide automatic trains running at high speed on the main line is many many years away yet, so don't expect it any time soon.

Boris   13/06/2017 at 16:51

So you're admitting that TM is doing a sh*tty job Andrew.

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