Staff assaults and anti-social behaviour - Sussex Coast and Arun Valley areas

Our ref: HSR/2/2
Head Office Circular: NP/132/22
1st June 2022
To: The Secretary
Sussex Coast, Brighton & Hove City, Croydon No.1, South London Rail, Three Bridges

Dear Colleague,


The RMT NEC (National Executive Committee) met on 31st May 2022, to discuss the following resolution from RMT Sussex Coast branch:

Over the past two years the Sussex Coast and Arun Valley areas of the rail network have been plagued by anti-social behaviour by a group of feral youth.

Some 18 months ago we called for action up to and including strike action in response to this grotesque situation. No response was forthcoming.

Recent months have seen this anti-social behaviour rise to an unprecedented level.

This has seen our members physically assaulted including being spat at, being subjected to homophobic and racist comments.

Along with the unacceptable behaviour towards our members these feral youth have also on multiple occasions interfered with the safe passage of trains.

These youth have no regard for law and order, but they can continue their outrageous behaviour without resistance form the management of GTR.

This Branch is devastated to learn that the situation has got so bad that we have members contemplating resigning from their posts such is their fear for their safety.

This branch is also disgusted to learn that at least two-line managers charged with the Health/Safety and Welfare of our members have told them “Perhaps they should consider if they are in the right job if they can’t cope the with the behaviour they are being subject to”.

This branch and its Officers are prepared to work with the management of GTR to resolve these issues, but when they start questioning our members suitability for their roles when they raise serious concerns about their safety, then we feel that the end of the road has been reached.

We have even asked for the assistance of the local MP and the Police and Crime Commissioner to intervene, as it clearly is an issue that extends way beyond the capabilities of GTR.

This branch has sadly concluded that enough is enough, our members should not come to work in fear of being physically or mentally harmed.

We therefore request an immediate ballot for Industrial Action by members of Train Crew and Station Grades employed or working within the Sussex Coast and Arun Valley Areas.

On giving consideration to the RMT Sussex Coast branch resolution and accompanying report from the Lead Officer, the NEC noted and adopted the following report:

We note the report from the lead officer and echo his sentiments about the severity of the concerns raised by the branch.

Accordingly, the General Secretary is instructed to write to the company seeking a meeting at the appropriate stage of the machinery on this issue and warning them that failing to address our members concerns will result in a dispute on this issue.

Additionally, the General Secretary is instructed to provide a copy of the RMT Serious and Imminent danger booklet to all affected members and begin preparing a ballot matrix of affected members.

All affected members and branches to be advised.

I am acting in accordance with these instructions.

Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.

Yours sincerely

Michael Lynch
General Secretary