Our Ref BR2/0146
16th August 2019
FURTHER STRIKE ACTION CALLED
ROLE OF THE GUARD AND EXTENSION OF DOO – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY
Further to my letter of 29th July 2019, mass meetings have taken place in London, Woking and Bournemouth where the views of the membership within the Guards grades were fed back clearly. The issues areas were discussed: -
- The delay in talks to 29th August 2019 has allowed the company continue to play for time.
- Possibility of strike action being called on Saturday’s, weekends, 14 days over two pay periods and bank holiday weekends.
- Possibility of calling a rest day ban and other forms of industrial action short of a strike
- Members remain solid, will not give up and are frustrated that the company are “mugging us off”. They want us to ramp up the pressure on company
- Managers are getting fed up of working strike days
- Dispute fund payments/fundraising
The company have arranged dates to meet with the Company Council on 7th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 22nd August 2019 to discuss options on a method of operation. We have been clear that we wont discuss a method of operation that would affect another grade unless the relevant parties were involved in those discussions. If the company or the other parties were unwilling to be involved in these talks we would request an RMT driver representative to attend the meeting to aid the discussions as we also have recognition agreements within that grade and we should be allowed to use them. To date we have not been told if the other parties will be attending these meeting.
The NEC has considered this matter following the mass meetings and has instructed me to write to SWR clearly stating that our members have a huge lack of trust of the company due to their actions the past. In order to put maximum pressure on the company the NEC has therefore decided to call further strike action in this dispute.
Members are therefore instructed not to book on for duty between: -
- 0001 hours Friday 30th August 2019 and 23.59 hours Monday 2nd September 2019
In the meantime we will be proceeding with the scheduled talks with our Company Council reps and continue on the preferred method of operation to present what has been agreed to the high level meeting arranged for 29th August 2019. Should the NEC believe that that method of operation is workable they have stated they would suspend the industrial action called. They have also made it clear that if the meetings are cancelled and excuses are made by the company we would have no other option but to call further industrial action forthwith. The matter of dispute funds payments has been referred to our General Finance Sub Committee for consideration. I will advise members of its decision in due course.
I urge members to strongly support this industrial action. It was clear from the mass meetings that nothing less than an operational method that clearly protects the safety role of the guard will be acceptable to this union and our members. Hopefully company will properly engage in these discussions to reach a suitable agreement that can resolve this matter once and for all.
SUPPORT THE ACTION
UNITY IS STRENGTH