8 November 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
“This shoddy deal, sponsored by Theresa May and Chris Grayling, extends and institutionalises discrimination against disabled and older people. Where once such passengers who required assistance were guaranteed a second member of staff to assist a new clause in this deal deliberately sets out how where there is no on board supervisor the driver will knowingly have to leave such passengers stranded on trains and stations. That is frankly appalling.
“RMT believes that a significant factor in delivering this result was the threat of massive legal costs levied on the union by GTR as a result of the anti-trade union laws. According to the respected industry journal Rail Business Intelligence punishing costs of £250,000 have already been meted out with a further half a million pounds being held back with a final payment to be based on the final terms agreed in any resolution to the dispute. That was a massive financial stick that the Courts had handed over to beat the union and its members with. RMT believes that threat had a decisive impact on this result.
“No one should underestimate the impact of the bundles of cash that were being waved about by the basket-case Southern Rail to swing this vote through, it’s just a scandal that the company won’t make the same financial commitments to keeping a guard on their trains.
“The result changes absolutely nothing in terms of RMT’s campaign for a safe and accessible railway for all.
"On behalf of RMT I repeat the demand that Theresa May and Chris Grayling call off the centrally imposed blockade on serious talks in all of the current rail disputes and allow us to get on with genuine negotiations with their contractors."
“If the Government allows normal industrial relations to recommence it would free the union up to negotiate deals like the ones we have successfully struck in Wales and Scotland that guarantee a guard on the trains. If it's good enough for Scotland and Wales it's good enough for the rest of Britain.”