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24 October 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT announces strike action in separate disputes over the attack on the role of the guard and the extension of Driver Only Operation.
RAIL UNION RMT today confirmed strike action in November in separate disputes with train operating companies across the UK over attacks on the role of the safety-critical guard and the extension of Driver Only Operation in the name of increased profits.
Members on Southern, Greater Anglia, South Western Railways and Island Line have been instructed to take action as follows:
Not to book on for any shifts between 00.01 hours on Wednesday 8th November and 23.59 hours on Thursday 9th November.
Members on Northern and Merseyrail have been instructed to take action as follows:
Not to book on for any shifts between 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours On Wednesday 8th November.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Every single effort that RMT has made to reach negotiated settlements in these separate disputes with the different train operating companies over safe operation and safe staffing has been kicked back in our faces and we are left with no option but to confirm a further phase of industrial action in early November.
“It is frankly ludicrous that we have been able to negotiate long-term arrangements in Scotland and Wales that protect the guards and passenger safety but we are being denied the same opportunities with rail companies in England. This suspension of normal industrial relations by the employers has to end if we are to make progress towards a solution that guarantees safe rail travel for all.
“RMT is in no doubt that it is the dead hand of the minority Tory Government that is interfering in these disputes to block negotiated settlements. It is outrageous that Theresa May and Chris Grayling are happy to stand aside and cheer on overseas rail companies that rip-off the British passenger to subsidise their domestic transport operations while throwing the guards off our trains.
“RMT is demanding today that the Government lift the central blockade on talks, allow us to negotiate freely with their contractors and give us the opportunity to pursue the objective of a guard guarantee that puts British passenger safety before the rank exploitation of our rail network by overseas operators who are laughing all the way to the bank.
“RMT stands ready for talks in each of these separate disputes.”