Our Ref: BR2/0146
6th January 2020
ROLE OF THE RAIL OPERATOR, DOO – SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY
I am writing further to my previous correspondence and in relation to the above matter. As you are aware, the union had serious concerns over a number of safety roles within the industry on the SWR network. Many of our Rail Operator members raised concerns over their role as South Western Railway have made it clear that they are intent on diluting rail safety across their network. Last year we wrote to SWR to address 3 key questions in relation to the Rail Operator grade these were:-
That there will be no changes to the Rail Operator job description.
No redundancies will be made to the Rail Operator grade.
No changes will be made to the Rail Operator terms and conditions.
The company have now replied to our letter. The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and believes that the company has not gone far enough in protecting the role of the Rail Operator. With the company determined to push through a driver open and driver close deal through with the guards, this will no doubt have a significant impact on the Rail Operator grade.
Therefore, to build momentum within the grade I will be arranging a number of mass meetings for all Rail Operator and Guard members in the following locations: - Woking, London and Southampton. These meetings are currently being arranged and I will advise you of the dates, times and exact locations when these meetings have been finalised. The NEC has also indicated that should the need arise, the union will have no option but to ballot our Rail Operator members for strike action and action short of a strike.