16 June 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT calls on First MTR to give assurances they will honour guards agreement on South West Trains.
RAIL UNION RMT today demanded clear assurances from First MTR, the outfit due to take over the South West Trains franchise in late August, that they will honour a written commitment dating back to 1998 not to extend Driver Only Operation or threaten the jobs and roles of the Guards.
In a letter to the company, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash says;
" I am seeking assurances from you that, following the TUPE transfer, the following will apply for duration of your company holding the Franchise.
* There will be no extension of DOO on any route or service.
* The Guard will be in full operational control of the power operated doors.
* There will be no abolishing or reduction of the safety critical role of the Guard.
* There will be no abolishing or reduction of the role of the Guard in operation of the doors.
* That any new rolling stock will be configured and have the necessary equipment to enable the Guard to retain full operational control of the power operated doors.
I also seek your written assurance that the current levels for the retention of Ticket Offices, the hours of operation and staffing levels will remain as agreed with the current Franchisee.
I have to report back to my National Executive Committee as a matter of urgency, and bearing in mind the current timescales of the transfer of ownership, your assurances on the above would be welcomed by no later than Monday 3rd July."
The written agreement, which forms part of the transfer of the current SW Trains undertaking from Stagecoach, is attached.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said:
"There is an agreement in place that there will be no extension of Driver Only Operation and no threat to guards jobs or roles and that agreement transfers with the undertaking to First MTR.
"All that RMT is seeking, by 3rd July, is a clear assurance that there will be no interference with the current agreement and that it will be honoured by the new franchise holder."