Our Ref: HC/14/2

7 September 2018

Dear colleague


Concerns have been raised by our Customer Host members at Paddington over an apparent imposition of new working practices in GWR Customer Host Diagrams issued from the beginning of this week. This would result in Paddington-based On-Board Catering Staff working on board driver-only Class 800 IET services between Paddington and Oxford.

No staff briefings were issued from the company informing our members that these new working arrangements were agreed with their trade union and no safe working method had been made available by GWR to RMT representatives for the staff concerned.

These concerns were then taken up by your union with the company and, following a number of calls, emails and a meeting with the company, management sent the following to your Regional Organiser this morning:

“the placing of GWR Customer Hosts on the IET DOO trains was never intended. The DOO trains have always had Rail Gourmet staff on them, these trains therefore would have continued to be staffed by Rail Gourmet. We’ve withdrawn the GWR Customer Hosts on these IET DOO services and put Rail Gourmet staff on them as this is what would have happened in the first place.

This is all evidenced in the fact that for the September diagrams there are no GWR colleagues on the IET DOO trains and they have Rail Gourmet staff on them, the IET has simply replaced the Turbos in that respect. So in effect the net result is that we have reset the status quo to how it was and always has been for the provision of catering on DOO services, we have not done anything new and nothing that is not already covered within the existing agreements.”

Your Regional Organiser reported on these developments and, while noting the explanation that Customer Host diagrams were issued in error and had now been withdrawn, it was nevertheless concerning about the use of Rail Gourmet staff rather than directly employed GWR staff.

The Regional Organiser said he would investigate this further and have it discussed at the meeting of the On Trains Divisional Council on Wednesday 13th September 2018. Following this meeting the Regional Organiser suggests reviewing the position prior to escalating any dispute.

Your National Executive Committee has noted this report and instructed me to ensure that the Lead Officer reiterates the RMT demand for all class 800 IET services to be operated with a safety critical guard irrespective of line of route or terminus station and that any catering services should be provided by directly employed GWR staff. I have also been instructed to seek a report of the September 13 meeting which will be placed back before the NEC.

I will of course keep you advised on all further developments in this matter as they arise.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary