Impact of COVID 19-Great Western Railway

Dear Colleague

Impact of COVID 19-Great Western Railway

Further to my most recent correspondence dated Monday 23rd March 2020 I am writing to provide you with a further update in relation to the above mentioned matter.

Members will by now be aware of the announcement by Great Western Railway (GWR) via its Fastline medium on Tuesday 24th March 2020 outlining a number of revised working methods in response to the increased Government measures to combat the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Whilst some of the revised methods of work can only be viewed as positive RMT still holds a number of significant concerns namely:

First Class Catering Provision

RMT strongly opposes the decision to continue with First Class Catering on GWR services. The reality is that the virus does not distinguish between standards on a train and that this decision places both members and passengers at an unnecessary risk.

Gateline Operation

The proposals to redeploy Revenue Protection staff to Gatelines increasing staffing numbers at those locations are in our view completely unnecessary and place staff at considerable risk.

At a time when social distancing is being strongly advocated by the authorities such a decision appears to be in complete contrast to that of the official guidance.

A further meeting with the company via conference call will take place on Thursday 26th March 2020 and your RMT Representative will be demanding the assurances that members quite rightly seek in this regard.

I will of course keep you informed of further developments but please be assured that RMT is committed to ensuring both your safety and welfare during these difficult times.

Should you require any further information at all then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Mick Cash
General Secretary