21 June 2016
RMT Press Office:
Documents sent in error by ScotRail blow the whistle on plans to smash unions and smuggle in Driver Only Operation.
A cache of documents sent out in error by Scotrail as attachments to an email by MD Phil Verster have blown the whistle on a secret strategy by the company to smash the unions and smuggle in Driver Only Operation on trains right across Scotland. The documents nail the company lie that there is no threat to guards jobs and the safety-critical function of the guards.
The documents, issued in error by Scotrail communications last night and then subsequently withdrawn by the company in a grovelling apology, reveal a hidden agenda of "union busting, detstaffing and deskilling " including:
• The widespread extension of DOO and the widespread deployment of ticket examiners to replace conductors at short notice
• A driving force behind the proposals designed to offer "greater resilience to industrial action".
• Admitting DOO will do away with skilled staff - "Conductor operation means 2 skilled posts on every train making services harder to operate during industrial action."
• Goading conductors over a previous strike that the company allege "failed ..for good reason"
• Implying conductors are a "weak link" in operation of trains and wrongly blaming conductors for lower train punctuality when it is the quality of infrastructure and rolling stock that determines performance.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
“These documents, issued in error by the company, expose a hidden agenda of union busting, job cuts and attacks on safety that RMT always said was at the heart of this dispute. They blow apart the company spin that there is no threat and that our action is premature.
"The workforce has said all along that any extension of DOO or DCO is a clear attack on our members hard earned terms and conditions and that RMT members should not have to face the risk of their role and responsibilities being reduced and undermined. Scotrail accused us of lying but they have now been caught out red-handed and they should be ashamed of themselves.
“In light of these extraordinary revelations it is time for the Scottish Parliament to step in and call a halt to the cloak-and-dagger attacks on jobs, services and safety and force Scotrail to come to the table and start talking with us openly and honestly.”
Documents attached and Scotrail apology below:
Earlier on this evening you received a message from Phil Verster outlining the latest position in the ongoing RMT dispute.
As you know, my department arranges for all of the staff messages to go out. We try and make sure that we get these messages out far and wide, reaching everyone in the business. In order to manage this we have a procedure whereby everything comes to me for sign off before we push the button.
I have to tell you that, due to an error on my part, these sign off procedures failed this evening. A document was attached to the message from Phil that should not have been. This is entirely my fault. I wanted to explain this to you and to apologise for the mistake.
We had intended to send out information to the company that set out what we had been saying publicly about the dispute. We thought it important that you knew what was going to appear in the media and to get that information first hand.
However, due to an error in our processes, one of a series of internal discussion documents that had been prepared to further examine the ideas that we wrote to Conductors about in March – but were subsequently withdrawn – was attached.
I want to assure you that this document has no official standing whatsoever. Its purpose – alongside the other similar discussion documents that were prepared – was merely to examine the various options and ideas that might be available to us in the future. Once we have finalised our ideas, we will submit a formal proposal to the Trades Unions using the normal channels.
I am very sorry for this mistake.
Client & Communications Director
The ScotRail Alliance