ROLE OF THE GUARD & EXTENSION OF DOO – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY

Our Ref: BR2/14/2

12th February 2019

Dear Colleague,

ROLE OF THE GUARD & EXTENSION OF DOO – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY

Today I have written to South Western Railway and directly challenged them to give a “yes or no” answer to the question of whether or not they are prepared to give a cast-iron guarantee that every train will run with a guard on board, in addition to the driver. As you may have seen already the company attempted to imply to the travelling public and you and your colleagues that they are prepared to match similar pledges received by your union from other train operating companies - No such offer has been received by RMT from SWR.

Below is the letter I have sent to the company today:-

“Our Ref: BR2/0146

12th February 2019

Dear Andy,

ROLE OF THE GUARD & EXTENSION OF DOO – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY

I am writing in response to press comments that you issued to the media last Thursday – 7th February – regarding the ongoing SWR dispute over Driver Only Operation and the role of the guard.

In your press statement you say that;

"We have repeatedly committed to rostering a guard on all our services - the same assurance that seem to have been sufficient for the RMT to suspend its strikes elsewhere in the country only yesterday.”

You will be aware that your statement is not only wholly factually incorrect but is a deliberate and cynical attempt to mislead the travelling public in the area covered by your franchise.

The key principles accepted by Northern Rail through the ACAS process that you refer to are in fact as follows;

“ *that for the duration of the current franchise every train will be run with a conductor on board in addition to the driver; and

*where new or modified rolling stock is being introduced that every train will continue to run with a conductor. “

You will understand that the guarantee of a guard/conductor on every train in addition to the driver is wholly different to your statements about “rostering” a member of staff and to try and portray this otherwise in public statements is entirely disingenuous on your part.

So I am giving you the opportunity right now to rectify the situation. Are you prepared, as you have stated to meet the terms of the offer to RMT from Northern Rail that EVERY train will run with a guard on board in addition to the driver. It really is very simple, YES or NO?

I look forward to your prompt response.”

Once again I would like to congratulate you all on your clear solidarity and resolve during this dispute. I am sure you will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder in the upcoming industrial action.

I trust this keeps you fully advised and I will update you all once I have received a response or further information.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary