3 August 2015
RMT Press Office
RAIL UNION RMT today confirmed further strike dates and action short of a strike in the dispute with First Great Western as the company continues to fail to meet the core issues impacting on staff and passengers from the introduction of the new fleet of Hitachi inter-city trains.
The action is as follows:
All Grades (Excluding Fleet Maintenance Members)
All members excluding Fleet Maintenance grades will be instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-
• 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Sunday 23rd August 2015
• 00.01 hours on Saturday 29th August 2015 and 23.59 hours on Monday 31st August 2015
All Fleet Maintenance grade members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-
• 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Saturday 29th August 2015
• 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Monday 31st August 2015
All Fleet Maintenance grade members will be instructed to take discontinuous industrial action short of a strike as outlined below: -
• Not to work any overtime or rest days between 00.01 hours and 23:59 hours on Sunday 23rd August 2015
• Not to work any overtime or rest days between 00.01 hours and 23:59 hours on Sunday 30th August 2015
The action follows a rock solid 48 hour strike last month which led to widespread disruption to services. The issues in dispute remain the same:
• Lack of assurances over TUPE and job protection on Engineering Grades
• The proposed introduction of Driver Only Operation (DOO) with door operation procedures to transfer from the Guard to Driver. This is a clear dilution of the important role of the Guard and the crucial role of safety critical platform staff for safe incoming and departure of trains at stations and is contrary to RMT policy.
• The proposed removal of buffet/restaurant car facilities remains in place with nothing other than an undertaking by FGW to endeavour to modify the design of AT300 rolling stock to accommodate a buffet.
While Virgin East Coast Trains have committed to safe running of services with Guards responsible for door operation and dispatch staff on stations, with on board buffet car facilities and guarantees of TUPE and job protection for our fleet maintenance members, First Great Western have committed to none of these important issues which impact on both our members and the travelling public.
The union has made it clear that it will continue to defend jobs, services and safety for all grades on First Great Western and as a result that is why there has been no option but to announce further strike dates and industrial action for later this month.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Despite strenuous efforts by our negotiators we have not been able to secure the kind of progress required in the key areas of jobs, services and safety for us to reach an agreement.
“As a result we have no option but to put further action on.
“The fact remains that if it is good enough for East Coast, using the same trains, to meet the very basic assurances sought by this trade union then it is good enough for First Great Western as well.
“We congratulate our members for their rock solid support for the strike action last month and we know that they remain united and determined as we continue with our campaign on these crucial issues. RMT remains available for talks.”