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

Our Ref: BR2/0146

27th September 2017

“Please be assured we will fully respect the democratic process of the ballot and the outcome whatever that may be.”
Andy Mellors
Managing Director
South Western Railways
15th September 2017


Dear Colleague,

HAVE YOU VOTED YET – DON’T WASTE YOUR VOTE

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

I am writing in relation to the above matter and to advise you of the concerning reports I have received from my Lead Officer and South Western Railway Representatives regarding managers being trained as guards. The report highlights a clear attempt by the company to run trains with a contingency of staff that have had minimal training and may present a clear threat to the safe running of the train.

As you are aware, you and your colleagues have a duty under the health and safety legislation rule book requirements and company policies to ensure you do not carry out an unsafe act at work and to prevent others from doing so where possible.
 
Therefore, The National Executive Committee has asked me to remind you and your colleagues of the Unions Policy concerning managers working trains.  I ask that all our Guard members are familiarised of the following:
 
-       Where an instruction is given by managers to hand over operation of a train you are working you should not refuse a reasonable instruction. However, you should check that the person is competent, is in possession of the correct authorities, passes, kit and notices.
 
-       Where an instruction is given by managers to hand over operation of a train you are working and in checking you find that the person is either not competent, is not in possession of one or any of the correct authorities, passes, kit or notices, you should report this as an unsafe act in accordance with your responsibilities under the company procedures and the Health & Safety At Work Act.
 
For your ease of reference, the RMT Serious and Imminent Danger pamphlet is available to view online at http://bit.ly/2rl0GGa

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you and your colleagues to vote in the upcoming dispute and vote ‘YES’ to both questions. Remember, by voting ‘YES’ you are giving Mr Mellors a clear message that you want to keep the guard on the train - he has said he will respect that outcome - let’s make him keep to his word with a massive turnout and a massive ‘YES’ VOTE.
The new anti-trade union laws make it even harder than it already was to win a ballot. A massive ‘YES’ vote is not good enough unless at least 50% of you vote and at least 40% vote ‘YES’. And we are not talking about the ballot papers that are returned we are talking about the ballot papers that are sent out to ALL guard members. So please use your vote and Vote ‘YES’.

The closing date of the ballot is fast approaching and you do not have long left to let your voice be heard. Therefore, If you have not received a ballot already, then please contact the RMT Freephone Helpline urgently on 0800 376 3706 or the RMT Switch board on 020 7387 4771 and ask for the industrial relations department, where a replacement ballot paper will be sent to you by first class post. Additionally, if you are aware of a colleague who has not received their ballot paper, ask them to call one of the above numbers to update their details and to receive a replacement ballot paper.

NO TO DOO!
VOTE ‘YES’ TO PROTECT YOUR JOB NOW!
DEFEND THE SAFETY CRITICAL ROLE OF THE GUARD

Yours sincerely
 
Mick Cash
General Secretary