RMT remains in dispute with First Great Western

RMT remains in dispute with First Great Western

16 July 2015

RMT Press Office

FOLLOWING A meeting of RMT’s executive today the union has confirmed that it remains in dispute with First Great Western as the latest company offer has failed to meet the core issues impacting on staff and passengers from the introduction of the new fleet of Hitachi inter-city trains.

First Great Western released a statement to the media yesterday claiming that “We have moved significantly in every area, giving the RMT clear assurances on job security and safety”.  The reality is, however, that media claims from the company are not matched by the facts with the following core issues remaining unresolved:

•    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 safety role of the Guard and 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 the executive will be deciding on future strike action dates next week.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“Despite the media spin played out by the company yesterday the reality of the offer now received by the union falls well short of what is required in the key areas of jobs, services and safety for us to reach an agreement.

“As a result we will now be meeting with our sister unions to discuss the campaign strategy and RMT’s executive will be deciding on future strike dates next week.

“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 week and we know that they remain united and determined as we continue with our campaign on these crucial issues. RMT remains available for talks.”

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