28 April 2016
RMT Press Office:
RMT begins preparations for ballot of Southern GTR station staff over ticket office closures, job cuts and lone working.
RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it has begun preparations for a ballot of station staff across Southern GTR for industrial action in response to a direct threat to services, jobs and staff safety from the company’s plans to close and downgrade ticket offices.
Senior union representatives have been in discussions with GTR over the company’s proposed changes to ticket office opening hours and the introduction of station hosts. During discussions with the company, RMT representatives discovered a major element of the consultation had been omitted from the main consultation document, namely the removal of ticket machines from office to concourse.
RMT’s National Executive Committee has now considered the matter and has noted that GTR has failed to include this important element of the proposals in their consultation. As a result of the very clear threat to services and our members jobs and safety that this omission has thrown up the union is now moving to a ballot.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Both London Travel Watch and Transport Focus have knocked back the ticket office closure plans on GTR after RMT mobilised a huge public campaign of opposition. It now appears that not only are GTR planning to ignore that massive opposition to their cuts but the consultation itself was fundamentally flawed and omitted a central aspect on the location of ticket machines that has severe consequences for our members.
“RMT is totally opposed to the closure or reduction in opening hours of ticket offices, cuts in station staff jobs and the introduction of lone working at stations and the union will continue our fight against these attacks on our member’s jobs, safety and living standards. Therefore the union will begin preparations for a ballot of all our Southern GTR station staff members for industrial action.
“The union remains available for talks.”