11 November 2015



Our Ref: HC/14/2
11th November 2015


Dear Colleague


Further to my letter dated the 28th September 2015 with regards to the above matter and where I informed you that the RMT was seeking a joint meeting with GWR, Hitachi and the Trade Unions to discuss the importance of the buffet car facilities, urging the company to reverse their decision and make a practical proposal to the Department for Transport. I can now advise you that despite the union’s grave efforts to secure a date for this very important meeting, at the time of writing no date has been forthcoming.

I would like to assure you that I have given this matter my full attention and I have again written to GWR requesting an urgent meeting to discuss all the IEP issues. Furthermore, I have expressed, in no uncertain terms, the union’s distaste at the lack of care and respect being shown towards our affected members by not agreeing a suitable date for the joint meeting to be held. This is a disgraceful way to treat a skilled and loyal workforce who has given many years of service to the company and provided an excellent service to the general public.

The union’s Executive Committee has also considered this matter and notes that due to the delays on the electrification of the Great Western route, modifications on 800/1 rolling stock may need to take place to allow larger fuel capacity. This contradicts GWR and DfT excuse not to include buffet cars on these trains as they claim it will delay the roll out of the trains. Doing away with the buffet cars will inevitably lead to the deskilling of jobs and the worsening of terms and conditions. This is totally unacceptable to the union and completely irresponsible of the company.

In accordance with the above and to progress the union’s campaign on IEP, I will be writing to all MPs whose constituencies cover the areas of Landore, Laira, St Philips Marsh and Old Oak Common to explain the union’s reasonable demands for a joint meeting with Hitachi and GWR. Further conveying the importance of discussing the future of these Depots for both our members and the travelling public and that by remaining silent on these proposals, Hitachi is putting our members and their families in an extremely vulnerable position.

Additionally, should GWR fail to provide the RMT with the assurances we seek over the major issues at the heart of this dispute then further industrial action will be taken. I am in the process of arranging a full staff side meeting with our Senior Union Representatives, Branch Secretaries and Chairs to be in attendance to discuss our next course of action and I will, of course, keep you fully advised on any further developments.

Best wishes.
Mick Cash
General Secretary

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Tagged with: iep, intercity express programme, first great western