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RMT escalates row with Greater Anglia with overtime ban

RMT has escalated its action on Greater Anglia by imposing an overtime ban for all of its members who work with the TOC.

Conductors and senior conductor members have been instructed not to undertake any overtime or rest day working between 10 October and 6 November.

This comes in addition to a strike happening on 3 October and 5 October, which coincides with other RMT strikes around the country across Northern, Southern and Merseyrail services.

The union said that the overtime ban is being implemented as a result of “the wholesale and continuing refusal of Greater Anglia to reach a negotiated settlement.”

But the operator has reassured passengers that services will not be affected by the overtime ban imposed by the pesky union.

“We are planning a full service throughout the period of the overtime ban announced by the RMT,” said the company’s service delivery director, Richard Dean. “We owe it to our customers and the wider region to do everything we can to safely provide the service we promise, so that is why we are planning to safely operate a full normal service during any RMT industrial action.

“We are guaranteeing the future of conductors on our trains right through to the end of the franchise in October 2025.

“We have no plans to remove them, in fact when we get our new trains we will be recruiting more conductors. We are keen to talk to the RMT to try and agree a way forward.”

But outspoken general secretary of the RMT Mick Cash argued that the union, once again, had no option but to call the action after no meaningful talks were completed between both parties.

“Greater Anglia have been given every opportunity to give a guarantee on the future role of the guard on their services,” he explained. “They have failed to do so and that left us with no alternative but to move to a ballot in the interests of rail safety.

“This dispute is about guaranteeing the safety of the travelling public pure and simple,” Cash went on. “Our members voted by massive majorities for both strike action and action short of a strike but the company have ignored that and have failed to seize the opportunity to give us the very simple assurances on the future of the guards, and the guarantee of a second safety critical member of staff on current services.

“The union remains available for further talks around the crucial issue of the guard guarantee.”

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Andrew Gwilt   28/09/2017 at 22:09

I think this is bad news. I’m guessing that this could be bad news. As I use Greater Anglia most of the time. And it’s going to be such a headache. Hopefully it shouldn’t cause too many disruptions to some services in & out of London Liverpool Street.

Alan   29/09/2017 at 17:38

Fifth sentence in speaks of a 'pesky union' Your words or someone's quote?

Andrew Gwilt   30/09/2017 at 14:23

No idea on what you said here Alan.

Ryan   01/10/2017 at 07:17

Andrew, Alan is not talking to you. Not everything is about you, please.

Chris Pearson   01/10/2017 at 09:15

If something is unreliable you look to replace it with something that works. In this case it is staff. I think "pesky union" is an apt monika for the RMT. All they are really doing is pushing the development of technologies and practices that will do away with more staff in the long run. As an employer, you will want to reduce any risks to a viable business and if staff are a problem area, then it would make sense to look at ways of reducing the problem. The capabilities of technology will increase to a point where it will be entirely feasible to have train operators who dont drive the train at all. The more strikes and the more costs that unions put on companies will only make the development of such tech more cost effective in the longer term, particularly on a system like Merseyrail.

Andrew Gwilt   01/10/2017 at 15:15

@Ryan. Oh ok. Fair enough.

AJG89   03/10/2017 at 22:09

I’ve heard that services were ok despite the strikes. It seems that the strikes didn’t cause a lot of problems at all on Greater Anglia. Except strikes that happened on Southern Railway last year that caused widespread travel disruptions to passengers who have been affected by the Southern strikes.

Jerry Alderson   08/10/2017 at 16:21

I'm certainly looking forward to a better service on GA when the driver takes over controlling the doors. The GA conductors do a good job in my opinion, managing to come through the carriages several times on a journey, but I still find it annoying have to wait 5+ seconds for the doors to be unlocked. I followed Greater Anglia's dispute this week from abroad. On the second strike day GA's service page did announce that several of the evening Ipswich-Cambridge services had been cancelled because of a 'lack of train crew'. However, I didn't spot any other cancelled services on the few occasions I checked. Re: 'true' driverless (GoA4) train systems mentioned by Chris Pearson. These will happen eventually. But it's going to be a very slow process rolling it out. All seems to be quiet on the UK's planned first GoA4 system, the Glasgow Subway. The only GoA4 system I've been on are the two lines on the Paris Metro and they operated very efficiently indeed. I'm going to try the Copenhagen metro in November and hopefully next year the new line on the Budapest metro. Deutsche Bahn intends to introduce driverless mainline trains on the first route from around 2023, following a protracted drivers' strike two years ago. Again, I don't know the current state of that project.

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