BALL FIRMLY IN MANAGEMENT’S COURT AS RMT CALLS FOR URGENT SERIOUS DISCUSSIONS TO AVERT STRIKE

To All Southern Drivers, Driver Instructors, Conductors, Conductor Instructors and OBS (EX-Conductors

BALL FIRMLY IN MANAGEMENT’S COURT AS RMT CALLS FOR URGENT SERIOUS DISCUSSIONS TO AVERT STRIKE

Dear Colleague,

As late as 22nd December your Union has been seeking discussions with Southern to avert the strike called for the 8th January.

However, management has set down a pre-condition before agreeing to serious discussions by insisting we call off the industrial action. This action has been put on after consulting with your representatives and it is an unreasonable demand. No doubt you are as surprised as I am that Southern are placing conditions in the way of resolving this dispute bearing in mind they had ample opportunity over the last few months to meet with us but chose not to do so.

You have to question whether Southern are interested in meaningful talks or just trying to stop the strike action going ahead!

I have, therefore written to the company expressing the union’s anger and disappointment at their lack of commitment to seriously discuss the role of the Guard.

So let me assure you before the GTR PR machine goes into overdrive that we are doing everything possible to resolve this dispute but make no apology for continuing to defend the role of the guard with safety critical responsibilities.

Here is an extract from my letter to Andy Bindon

‘……….The last time we met the RMT made a serious attempt to resolve this dispute but our proposals were rejected out of hand by the company. Further you will be aware of research by the RMT released before Christmas that points to Southern running over 15,000 trains fully or partially without a second person.  This despite assurances previously given by the company that 0.06 per cent of trains would run without a second person on board.  This broken promise by the company does cause us concern as does the preconditions on talks.

So I can assure you that we do understand why there is an ever increasing demand from both your employees and passengers that we deal with the realities of the situation on Southern and sit down for meaningful talks before the next strike date of 8th January. I can also confirm that we are seriously committed to resolving this dispute and always have been.

It is sincerely hoped that we can meet next week, we will make ourselves available all week, in the hope that meaningful discussions can take place that will enable me to place the matter back before my National Executive committee and have the strike called off.

For southern to refuse this offer of talks would show that it is Southern and not the RMT that is not seriously committed to resolving this dispute……..’

Let’s hope sense prevails and we sit down and next week for serious discussions.

Yours faithfully,

 

Mick Cash

General Secretary