Our Ref: BR2/0146


20th October 2018


Management’s Latest Fiction – Here is the Truth


Dear Colleague,




You probably have by now received management’s latest fiction on their slant on the current dispute. Of course if they tried to get it published as a book it would be turned down as being just too far-fetched!


Firstly ‘750 services operated today’ is just plain fantasy. It has been reported in the media that less than 10% of services ran. Indeed the company ran as few as 172 a few weeks back and it’s been under 250 most Saturdays since early September.


Northern has not been trying to resolve the dispute since before it began they have been adamant they want to implement DOO. They did not engage in any talks around their plans with the company council before we went in to dispute. They wanted to discuss matters in ‘operational change’ meetings with the only focus upon delivering DCO!


‘Jobs won’t be axed’ no they will not be on day one. Day two of course is a different matter. This whole exercise is about cutting jobs and increasing profits at the expense of customers so that shareholders can be paid higher dividends. Conductors will be placed in other roles resulting in vacancies in other positions being unavailable to members and new joiners. Will your pay be ‘ring-fenced’ meaning that you receive no pay rises until the job you are accommodated in matches the Conductor’s rate – a very real possibility. This could mean no pay rise for many years. 


And we couldn’t make it any clearer – I have advised you continuously that the RMT is always prepared to get back round the table – and we are now. We would meet next week to try and resolve this dispute. But all the talk of ‘original scope’ and ‘default position’ are red herrings our position is, and always has been, clear throughout this dispute.


It is also a desperate act to put out a copy of a letter that was sent to the union yesterday. This is extremely unprofessional to put it mildly. We will consider it urgently and respond to both the company and you as we always do. We have no hidden agenda, we have never deviated from the position that you have fought for so magnificently - a Guard on every train with full safety critical responsibilities.


To reiterate the union is ready to meet with the company at any point, we’ll even consider suspending the action if the talks are meaningful and the company know this. But I would like to make it clear for us to consider this the talks need to be around the retention of a Guard. This is what you have voted for, this is what you demand.


You have been magnificent throughout this dispute to put it mildly! We demand a Guard on every train, the public demand a Guard on every train, the disabled, elderly, young, deserve a Guard on every train and that is why you have their support as well. People before profits.


Support your Colleagues

Support the Strikes

Support your Union


Yours sincerely,



Mick Cash

General Secretary