3 September 2021
RMT Press Office
RAIL UNION RMT said today that it has been forced to write once again to the safety regulator following yet another serious and potential lethal incident involving strike-breakers on East Midlands Railway. The warning comes as members prepare to take further action this weekend.
The union has received reports that on 15th and 29th August, at Bingham and Bedford respectively, trains were dispatched against red signals. Serious incidents were only prevented by the actions of the train drivers in stopping the dispatch procedure.
The manager in the second incident was observed at Kettering wearing a Bluetooth headset and was reported to be bragging about how much money he was being paid to work trains during the RMT strike.
RMT has twice written to the Office of Rail and Road with very serious concerns about bus worker coordinators carrying out train managers’ duties during the current RMT strike action taking place on East Midlands Rail.
RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said:
“The safety implications of inexperienced, poorly trained bus workers having responsibility for hundreds of train passengers does not bear thinking about and the union is concerned that it is just a matter of time before a serious incident takes place.
“These so-called contingency guards have not had the usual training, and this endangers other staff and the travelling public.
“RMT disputes that the contingency guards are sufficiently trained and have sufficient relevant experience and has condemned EMR for its cavalier attitude to passenger safety.
“Instead of taking these blatant risks with passenger and staff safety the company should take up our offer of talks.”