17 January 2019
RMT Press Office:
RMT forced to ballot for fourth time under anti-union laws on SWR as company plays for time and blocks agreement
RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it will be balloting for the fourth time to secure a vote to continue with action in the rail safety dispute on South Western Railway after being forced to renew the mandate under the terms of the latest wave of Tory anti-union laws.
The ballot will open on Thursday 24th January and will close on Thursday 7th February 2019.
Members will be voting to continue with the current action in defence of safety, security and access on SWR despite the legal hurdles erected by the Tories.
The union has accused SWR, owned by a combination of Scottish based company First Group and the Chinese state, of working hand in glove with the Tory Government to block attempts to reach a settlement in a politically motivated effort to open the door to widespread Driver Only Operation.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“RMT has been forced under the latest wave of Tory anti-union laws to re-ballot for a fourth time in the rail safety dispute on South Western Railway under the six month rule.
“I am confident that once again our members will return an overwhelming mandate to carry on the fight to put public safety before private profit.
“It is a disgrace that South Western Railway, with the connivance of this rotten Tory Government, have opted to play for time over yet another six months rather than acting responsibly and getting round the table with the union to work out a solution to this dispute that puts safety and the guard guarantee centre stage. That is the package we have successfully negotiated elsewhere.
“It defies belief that we are being denied the same positive outcome on the South Western Railway routes.”