13 August 2021
RMT Press Office:
RMT demands action from safety regulator as East Midlands Railways prepare to risk lives in advance of Sunday's next phase of strike action.
RAIL UNION RMT has written to the head of the safety regulatory body demanding they intervene to stop East Midlands Railways using ill-trained and under-prepared bus coordinators as "contingency guards" on London services on Sunday when Train Managers strike again in a dispute over safety.
In a letter to Ian Prosser, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Railways, RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch says;
"I am writing to bring to your attention the very disturbing reports which I have received that bus worker coordinators amongst others, are carrying out Train Managers duties during the current RMT dispute on EMR (East Midlands Rail).
"The safety implications of inexperienced, poorly trained bus workers having responsibility for hundreds of train passengers does not bear thinking about and I am concerned that it is just a matter of time before a serious incident takes place. The bus coordinators and others have not had the usual training, and this endangers other staff and the travelling public.
"The RMT National Officer for the Train Operating Companies has raised our concerns with EMR, but the Company insist that the contingency guards are fully safety competent and are trained to agreed railway safety standards and therefore insist on pressing ahead with their contingency arrangements for the strike action.
"RMT dispute that the contingency guards are sufficiently trained or have sufficient relevant experience and we therefore condemn EMR for their cavalier attitude to passenger safety.
Because I fear that using these workers could lead to a serious incident, I write to you to request that you intervene to resolve this issue."
The train managers will be taking their second day of strike action on Sunday whilst in a separate dispute over pay and contract issues the EMR senior conductors will enter their fourth month of Sunday strikes.