7 September 2018
RMT Press Office
As guards strike again on Northern and South Western Railways tomorrow in fight for safety union repeats call for urgent talks
With guards striking again tomorrow on Northern and South Western Railways in the fight for safety, security and access RMT has repeated it's call for urgent talks with both companies in an effort to break the deadlock over the guard guarantee.
RMT also demanded to know why the government are effectively bankrolling the disputes with public money, rather than pressing for a negotiated solution, after it revealed that both German state owned Northern Rail and Hong Kong owned South Western Railway have applied to the government to be reimbursed for revenues they have lost as a result of not being able to run trains on strike days.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said,
“Our members on the Northern and South Western Railway franchises are striking again tomorrow in the on-going fight to put public safety before private profit. It is nothing short of scandalous that both of these companies have refused point blank to talk seriously at the very same time as the union has been putting together negotiated solutions with other operators that have the guard guarantee at their core. I would repeat again RMT’s call for both ARN and SWR to get out of the bunker, get round the table and start genuine and meaningful talks.
“ Of course it has also now emerged that both Northern and South Western Railway have applied to be bailed out by the tax payer for revenue loss on strike days. That is a national scandal when guards are taking action to defend safety, access and security on our railways. It is a kick in the teeth for staff and passengers alike.
“There is no excuse whatsoever for these companies to be throwing guards off their trains in a dash to pump up their profits and the fact that they are being bank-rolled by the Government at taxpayer expense whether they run trains or not means they have no incentive to settle the disputes whatsover. That is simply outrageous.
“Both of these disputes can be settled if ARN and SWR choose to follow the best safety practice adopted elsewhere in the industry. It is now time for them to do just that.”