Our Ref: BR2/0146
5th November 2019
TO ALL SWR GUARDS, COMMERCIAL GUARDS AND TRAIN DRIVERS
RMT CALLS ACTION MAJOR PERIOD OF STRIKE ACTION
AS PROMISED TALKS FAIL TO MATERIALISE
ROLE OF THE GUARD & EXTENSION OF DOO - SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAYS
Further to my last letter of 29th October 2019, members will be aware that following negotiations with the company an agreement in principle had been reached on dwell time performance which is outlined below: -
1. Driver release Guard full control of dispatch. 4 bells across SWR fleet where possible to do so. Introduction of Method of Operation to be confirmed.
2. Agreed RMT/SWR continue discussions based upon achieving improved, performance safety and customer experience throughout introduction of 701’s.
3. Productivity based upon improved performance to agreed targets.
At the time we last wrote to you, SWR were supposed to be working on the detailed proposal with their Executive Board on these principle points and, once formulated, a further meeting was due to take place with our negotiating team by Friday 1st November. It was hoped this would prove to be a significant step towards reaching an agreement but we were under no allusions that this was a done deal.
Regrettably our fears have been met and no meeting took taken place on 1st November and SWR has not even had the courtesy to write to the union giving reasons for yet another delay. The principles of agreement had been made in good faith and yet again we feel hugely let down by the company.
The NEC has considered the latest situation and believes we cannot allow the company to continue to procrastinate over the principals in agreements proposals they gave to the union at the last meeting. Therefore we believe we have no choice but to call further industrial action in the form of a sustained period of strike action.
Therefore all Guards, Commercial Guards and Drivers are instructed not to book on for duties that commence between: -
• 00.01 hours on Monday 2nd December 2019 and 23:59 hours Wednesday 11th December 2019
• 00.01 hours on Friday 13th December 2019 and 23:59 hours Tuesday 24th December 2019
• 00:01 hours on Friday 27th December 2019 and 23:59 hours on the Wednesday 1st January 2020
I urge you to continue your magnificent support for your union in this vital dispute to protect the safety role of guards on SWR services. We cannot allow the company to play games and use delaying tactics. They must properly engage with your negotiating team immediately to try to reach an agreement on details of the points of principle.
The NEC has placed on record our congratulations and thanks to you and your colleagues for your steadfast resolve throughout this dispute and also to your Guards representatives for the tireless work they have done with members to allow this union to call 27 days of strike action. The company has been informed that we are available for talks at any time to end this dispute.
I will keep members fully informed of developments.
UNITY IS STRENGTH
SUPPORT THE STRIKES