RMT to ballot members over extending DOO dispute to Greater Anglia

RMT has today moved its new dispute with Greater Anglia forward as the union announced it will be balloting its members over the possibility of industrial action against the operator.

The dispute relates to the roll-out of driver-only operated (DOO) trains across services, something the union argues will compromise the safety of passengers.

It is also locked in similar battles with Merseyrail, Northern and Southern – with the latter persisting after over a year – and has recently caused disruption across the country with a number of strikes against all three operators.

But Greater Anglia assured that it has no intention to remove conductors from its trains, and that it was seeking further talks with the RMT to try and agree a way forward.

“We have now received notification of a ballot for industrial action from the RMT,” a spokesperson for Greater Anglia said. “We have no intention to remove conductors from our trains. They are highly valued colleagues and they will continue to play an important role on our trains.

“Clearly we hope that industrial action can be avoided but we will do our utmost to protect our customers from any disruption it could cause.”

Outspoken general secretary of the union Mick Cash, however, commented: “Greater Anglia have been given every opportunity to give a guarantee on the future role of the guard on their services. They have failed to do so.

“RMT will not sit back and wait for the company any longer and we have no option but to proceed to ballot in order to protect safety and access on Greater Anglia services.

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

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.


Not A Parody, Honest   14/08/2017 at 16:36

Could this mean the old rolling stocks on the Marks Tey-Sudbury line cannot be upgraded from the current Greater Anglia trains to the new class 745 Stadler FLIRTS because of the one door? Greater Anglia to face strike action because of the DOO problem on trains into and out of Liverpool Street station Meaning class 156s will be cascaded away from the Wherry Line to allow the strikes to be stopped while the class 230s are still not being operated because of union problems ffs

Sprinter   14/08/2017 at 17:12

What's the 230s got to do with this? They aren't being used as no one has shown any interest in ordering any, however many years after the idea first came about Shooterail seems to be struggling to get anyone to take them serious. I think you need to forget the whole 230 business - GA have ordered a total new fleet and those recycled District Line trains won't be used in East Anglia.

Simon Eames1990   14/08/2017 at 21:41

RMT are a bunch of greedy loan sharks. It's all about the money!

Andrew Gwilt   14/08/2017 at 23:47

And there's me thinking I've started the rubbish off about the Class 230's for Anglia lines. Which I'd posted a link about the Class 230 D-Trains for Anglia ages ago (http://www.railmagazine.com/news/fleet/2015/10/22/d-trains-for-anglia) as this was last published back in October 2015. But yes Greater Anglia are ordering new Bi-Mode (BMU) and EMU trains. And the Class 230's won't be needed for Anglia's branch lines.

Andrew Gwilt   14/08/2017 at 23:50

Just like what Southern had strikes before because of the DOO (Door Only Operation) scheme.

Michael   15/08/2017 at 11:20

Seriously guys you need a guard on every train in case something does go wrong dft want to take out the unions power no matter the cost and the TOC's only care about performance and profit none of them have a care for passenger safety. The most important part of the railway is the passenger and their needs that's the reality regardless of the stupid decisions made my the blind fools riding this DOO donkey.

J, Leicester   15/08/2017 at 11:54

Sprinter, might want to take a look at the name of the first comment.

Sprinter   15/08/2017 at 13:31

J - of course, haha. There was me thinking it was the usual 230 author. I read 230 and went straight to it!

James Palma   15/08/2017 at 19:44

Has anyone else noticed that RMT seem awfully quiet about driver only operation on Crossrail? Or is it that they have no people to go on strike and that there are no staff to get pay rises for? Just a thought, which may potentially show RMTs hypocritical stance.

Twyford Green   15/08/2017 at 23:36

Let us Pray. Can we have new trains that are fully automated and NO train crew? The Railway Companies run the railways, RMT is an old wreck, gradually killing off the geese that laid the eggs. Full auto, no human to de-rail, no human to take money. All RMT is doing is speeding up total automation.

Tothehills   16/08/2017 at 10:20

Michael: I recommend you do not travel by LU. None of their trains have guards, arguably in a much more dangerous passenger environment. RMT can defend guards but DOO is safer for the passenger and the guard; many a time I've seen guards being verbally abused by people they will not let on trains after closing doors and the train waits for 30 secs in a station.

Jerry Alderson   16/08/2017 at 21:06

The statements for the two sides are subtly different. Greater Anglia said. “We have no intention to ***remove*** ***conductors*** from our trains. They are highly-valued colleagues and they will ***continue to play an important role on our trains.***" Mick Cash commented: “Greater Anglia ...give a guarantee on "the future role" of the ***guard*** on their services. Firstly GA refers to conductors but RMT refers to guards - two words for exactly the same job, but 'guard' sounds like they are guarding people's lives more than the word conductor does. However, the crucial difference is that GA promises to preserve the second person's job (presumably with guaranteed pay, like the other TOCs) but the RMT wants the train to be cancelled (and all services brought to a total halt) if that second person goes on strike. Whether that happens depends on their 'future role'.

Michael   17/08/2017 at 20:46

Tothehills I'm a guard myself simply put a guard is trained in a system called conflict avoidance it's focus is manipulation and addressing the root of the problem which means any guard getting into a altercation is failing at their jobs. Guards safeguard the disabled, elderly and vulnerable passengers and help out when the s%#t hits the fan, guards are needed on all rolling stock regardless of the decisions made over the last 30 years to remove guards by people who consider profits to be a priority over safety and customer service guards will always be needed even if all of them are sacked they will still be needed because you can modernise the railway but you can't modernise the reasons why you need a guard such as mental/physical disabilities, the elderly and infirm and those who just find train travel daunting this is reality regardless of the decisions of the DFT or TOCs

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

HS2 Ltd: Five tech firms join Innovation Accelerator initiative

11/09/2020HS2 Ltd: Five tech firms join Innovation Accelerator initiative

HS2 Ltd have announced today (11 Sept) the first five revolutionary tech firms that will join HS2 Ltd’s Innovation Accelerator programme. ... more >
Network Rail publish Decarbonisation Plan

11/09/2020Network Rail publish Decarbonisation Plan

Network Rail have released their interim Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy, illustrating its preliminary recommendations for decarbonisin... more >
Trains kept moving by AWC despite damaged overhead wires

11/09/2020Trains kept moving by AWC despite damaged overhead wires

Avanti West Coast have taken an unlikely option to allow their timetable to run, without delays, despite damaged overhead wires. The operato... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s network of independent repair facilities across the UK and further afield in its global network. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >