18 May 2016
RMT Press Office
RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it has served notice on the company and will begin a ballot of guards across Scotrail for industrial action over the extension of Driver Only Operation and Driver Controlled operation.t on Scotrail over Driver Only Operation.
The ballot will open on Tuesday 24th May 2016 with a closing date of Tuesday 7th June 2016
RMT’s policy is for no extension of DOO on any route or service and for the guard to be in full operational control of the power operated doors. Furthermore, RMT has made it clear that the union is totally opposed to any proposals for extending DOO, reducing or abolishing the safety role of the Conductor and reducing or abolishing the role of the Conductor in operation of the doors.
Scotrail were informed of RMT’s position and they claimed that they accepted the importance of these issues. Additionally, the company were written to in order to seek the necessary assurance that no extension of DOO or DCO would be put in place during the lifetime of the Abellio Scotrail franchise.
RMT representatives have had numerous meetings with the company in order to gain these necessary assurances. However, following correspondence received from the company the unions National Executive Committee do not feel the necessary assurances have been made and therefore RMT declared a dispute with Abellio Scotrail over their failure to provide the guarantees required.
In line with the recent NEC decision, and the continuing heel-dragging by Abellio/Scotrial, RMT is now to begin balloting our Conductor and Conductor Instructor members for industrial action.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"Any extension of DOO or DCO is a clear attack on our members hard earned terms and conditions. RMT members should not have to face the risk of their role and responsibilities being reduced and undermined.
"There is also a very real threat to passengers of watering down and wiping out the safety critical role of the guard on these Scotrail services. That is a lethal gamble with basic rail safety.
"The recent shocking incident at East Dumbarton, which resulted in a seriously injured passenger falling onto the tracks, is just the latest in a catalogue of shocking episodes that expose the dangers of DOO.
"Those in charge of the Scottish Government cannot be allowed to wash their hands of the lethal scandal of de-staffing on Scotland's railways that is being cooked up on their watch. As well as the industrial campaign RMT will be stepping up the political and public pressure over the extension of DOO at the same time.
"RMT is in no doubt that our members will stand together and demonstrate the strength of feeling across the Scotrail network during this dispute. The union remains available for further talks."