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

To All SWR Guard, Commercial Guard & Train Driver Members

Our Ref: BR2/0146

12th December 2019


Dear Colleague

ROLE OF THE GUARD & EXTENSION OF DOO – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY
RMT TO RE-BALLOT MEMBERS FOR INDUSTRIAL ACTION

Once again I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate you and your colleagues for the magnificent show of solidarity and the loyal support you have shown throughout this long running difficult dispute. The industrial action taken to date has been solidly supported and proves how determined our members are to defend the role of the Guard and stand against SWR plans to extend DOO.

This dispute is and always has been about Driver Only Operation and the role of the Guard. The RMT and our members believe that nothing less than an operational method that clearly protects the safety critical role of the Guard is acceptable. SWR are making this dispute about the doors and if we accept their optimal method of operation, the company will eradicate the role of the Guard and extend ‘driver open, driver close.’

Regrettably, the 2016 Trade Union Act has made it necessary to re-ballot you and your colleagues for industrial action. Therefore, the union’s National Executive Committee has taken the decision to re-ballot all our SWR Commercial Guard, Guard and Train Driver members for industrial action in order to continue our fight to protect the safety critical role of the Guard and to retain a Guard on SWR services.

The RMT is willing to talk about the best ways we can improve and provide a safe and accessible railway system for our members and the travelling public. The RMT is willing to enter talks with no pre conditions with SWR under the auspices of ACAS with the aim of finding a settlement to this dispute.

It is vital that we stand united in this long running difficult dispute and that we continue our fight to defend the safety critical role of the Guard and stop SWR pushing through DOO.

The ballot for industrial action will open on Thursday 19th December 2019. Ballot papers will be sent to your home address shortly after this date and I urge you to vote ‘YES’ for STRIKE ACTION and ‘YES’ for INDUSTRIAL ACTION SHORT OF A STRIKE when you receive your voting paper. Do not waste your vote. If you have not received your ballot paper by Friday 3rd January 2020 please contact the RMT Helpline on 0800 376 3706 and request a replacement voting paper. Alternatively, you may wish to contact RMT Head Office on 0207 387 4771 and ask for the Industrial Relations Department. Furthermore, if you are aware of a colleague who has recently moved, changed job roles or workplace locations, please ask them to contact the Union on one of the above numbers.

I will, of course, continue to keep you fully updated on any further developments.

MAKE SURE YOU USE YOUR VOTE
SAY NO TO DOO
VOTE ‘YES’ TO BOTH QUESTIONS


Best wishes.

Mick Cash
General Secretary