ROLE OF THE GUARD & EXTENSION OF DOO – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY

 Our Ref: BR2/0146

15th August 2018

Dear Colleague,

ROLE OF THE GUARD & EXTENSION OF DOO – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY

I am writing in relation to the above matter and further to my previous letter. As you are aware the union suspended last Saturday’s industrial action in order to allow talks to progress. Your union negotiating team entered into talks with an open mind and the aim to resolve this dispute. However, the company have done everything possible to stop talks from progressing and are still failing to guarantee a Second Safety Critical person on every train.

The union gave the company a deadline of 10:00am on Thursday 16th August 2018 to produce an offer to our negotiating team. However, in a meeting today the company provided an update that was no different from the previous offer and no progress has been made during talks.

The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and believes that there is no other option than to call more industrial action. The NEC believes that our union has given the company more than enough opportunities to resolve this dispute. Our negotiating team even offered the company another proposal that would have resolved this dispute. This means the action called for this Saturday 18th August 2018 remains on and further action has been called. Therefore, you and your colleagues are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-

• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 18th August 2018
• 0001 Hours on Friday 31st August 2018 and 2359 Hours on Saturday 1st September 2018
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 2nd September 2018
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 8th September 2018
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 15th September 2018

(Please note that the 48 Hour action called on Friday 31st August 2018 has been extended by an additional 24 hours and will now run for 72 Hours).

I would like to thank you and your colleagues for your principled stand against the company and their plans to introduce DOO. You have all shown a tremendous amount of solidarity and I urge you all to continue this clear support for your colleagues and union.

As you are aware, there have been very cynical additions made in the 2016 Trade Union Act which has put even greater restrictions on workers taking industrial action. These restrictions are some of the most draconian in Europe.

One of the consequences of the new laws is that all ballots held after March 2017 are only valid for a 6 month period from the date they close. It does not matter whether the dispute is ongoing or industrial action is being taken. It takes no notice of the fact that you are continuing this principled fight.

The union has no choice but to conduct another ballot and get a fresh mandate from members and your union is asking you to return a magnificent ‘YES’ vote as you did in the previous two ballots. Therefore, on Thursday 23rd August 2018 the independent scrutineer will send a ballot paper to your home address and the ballot will close on Thursday 6th September 2018

It is our firm belief that the company, being aware that we need to re-ballot you, will stall and delay any offer in the hope that we either lose the ballot or do not meet the ridiculously high thresholds required to continue our action. Please do not let this happen. Not only are we asking you to vote ‘Yes’ we are asking you to make sure you use your vote and not let South Western Railway off the hook.

Therefore, to ensure a swift re-ballot, membership checks are currently underway. I urge you all to ensure your membership details are correct in preparation for the ballot. If your job title, address or workplace has recently changed, then please contact the RMT Freephone Helpline number on 0800 376 3706, the RMT switchboard on 0207 387 4771 or e-mail info@rmt.org.uk. Additionally, if you know a colleague who has moved or changed jobs inform them to contact one of the above numbers where we will be able to amend their details and ensure a successful ballot.

USE YOUR VOTE
SAY NO TO DOO!
SUPPORT THE ACTION!

Best wishes.

Mick Cash
General Secretary

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