Imposition of Platform Despatch Duties at Brussels - Eurostar Train Managers

6 April 2018

To All Eurostar Train Managers

Dear Colleague,

Imposition of Platform Despatch Duties at Brussels - Eurostar Train Managers

A meeting took place this morning (6th April 2017) with Eurostar and your RMT Representatives and Lead Officer to discuss what has become apparent as an imposition by the company of Platform Despatch Duties at Brussels for the new Amsterdam service.

I have to emphasise to you that at this time there is no agreement with your union for Train Managers to carry out such duties, no arrangements have been agreed and the duties are outside of your job description and working arrangements. Furthermore, even if there were to be such an agreement there is no agreed training or competency package in place that would enable Train Managers to undertake such duties competently or safely.

Therefore, your RMT Representatives demanded the following:-

• That Eurostar and the SNCB put in place sufficient platform staff at Brussels to enable those staff to undertake the full train despatch process without the need for Train Managers.
• That the instruction issued to Train Managers this week on train despatch at Brussels is immediately withdrawn and the existing arrangements remain in place until further notice.
• The company then provide a formal proposal to the RMT on any changes they wish to make to arrangements at Brussels and that any agreed processes have to be common to French, Belgian and UK Train Managers.

The company accepted that they had acted improperly in seeking to impose these changes without agreement, without notice and that the email briefing they had provided was inadequate as a training and competency package.

However, they were unable to give a full response on what they were actually going to do over the next few weeks to address the issue while discussion under the agreed collective arrangements can take place. I have requested that they respond in writing this afternoon.

However, given the timescales I feel that I am required to write to you immediately setting out the position. Should the company fail to put in place an agreed interim solution and continue to impose these duties on Train Managers without agreement I will have no choice but to place the matter before the National Executive Committee recommending that the declare an industrial dispute.

In the meantime I would remind you that there is no agreement in place and that there is no agreed competency, training or safe method of work for Train Managers for these duties in Paris. I will of course update you on any developments in this matter.

Yours sincerely,


Mick Cash
General Secretary