Our Ref: BR2/0146

30th May 2018

Dear Colleague,


Our fight to defend the Safety Critical Role of the Guard has been steadfast and the recent industrial action taken on a number of Train Operating Companies has once again been tremendously supported. Our position on Driver Only Operation has remained consistent. We are determined to continue our fight in ensuring that there is no introduction or extension of DOO. We are doing everything possible to ensure that the Safety Critical Role of the Guard remains on the train and that we will not agree to anything less than a safe and secure railway for everyone. The DOO Disputes across the union are still continuing and we have advised each TOC of the serious safety concerns over the impact of DOO.

As you are aware on 25th April 2018 union members protested outside parliament against the decision to introduce DOO. The protest was fully supported by members and a number of campaign groups such as Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and the general public. The support we have received from the public has been resounding, with the vast majority expressing their concerns over DOO and their desire to keep Guards on their trains. This has only been heightened with Southern’s (GTR) latest attack on passengers who need extra assistance, for example being disabled, and their instruction to our members not to assist the travelling public in boarding if it will delay the train’s departure. It is an abhorrent attack on passengers and makes a mockery of their ill-advised and profit pushing decision to remove a second safety critical member of staff on their trains.

The union is currently in talks under the auspices of ACAS with Merseyrail and South Western Railway. Whilst we are attempting to do everything possible to resolve these disputes, talks at ACAS have been making slow progress with no further updates on the guarantees we are seeking. However, we will advise members as soon as any decision or update is made available. The campaign to keep the guard on the train continues on Greater Anglia, Arriva Rail North and Southern (GTR) with further meetings and recruitment campaigns in place to try and strengthen our fight against DOO and to keep the Safety Critical Role of the Guard.

The National Executive Committee has instructed me to write to General Secretaries of other unions to gain their support in this fight against DOO. Additionally, they have encouraged our representatives to attend local branch meetings of other trade unions, councils and other supporting organisations. Furthermore, branches have been advised to invite these organisations to local branch meetings. Members are encouraged to attend their local branch meetings to ensure their voices are heard and to best shape our campaign to keep the Safety Critical Role of the Guard on the train.


Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary