15 April 2016
RMT Press Office:
RMT goes into dispute and prepares to ballot on Scotrail over Driver Only Operation.
RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that preparations are now under way for a ballot of guards across Scotrail for industrial action over the extension of Driver Only Operation and Driver Controlled operation.
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 several 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 is now in dispute with Abellio Scotrail over their failure to provide the guarantees required.
In line with the recent NEC decision RMT is now preparing to ballot our Conductor and Conductor Instructor members for industrial action. The union has also written to the company seeking further urgent talks.
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.
"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."