1 June 2016
RMT Press Office:
As strike ballot enters final week RMT sets out "dossier of dirty tricks" deployed by Scotrail bosses in guards dispute.
As the RMT strike ballot on Scotrail, over the extension of Driver Only Operation and the threat to the safety-critical guards, enters its final week the union has set out a “dossier of dirty tricks” currently being deployed by the company’s most senior bosses to try and twist public opinion.
The dossier includes:
• Scotrail continually using social media to sell their opinions to staff instead of talking directly with RMT
• Scotrail’s Managing Director going public via the internal “Yammer” social media platform advising staff that if they see passengers running for trains they should ignore them and close the doors to try and rig punctuality targets.
• Scotrail’s Managing Director making it clear that he is more interested in rigging right time departures than he is in passenger safety or the rights of disabled passengers.
• Comments from the Scotrail MD that staff should ignore passengers trying to board trains, making a mockery of the latest RAIB report exposing a surge in “trap and drag” incidents and calling into question previous disciplinary action against staff who have been taken to the cleaners for allegedly mis-managing the Platform/Train Interface – something the company now appear to be encouraging.
• Trains being cancelled at weekends as Scotrail don't employ enough staff and try to run the railway based on overtime – leaving huge gaps in the rosters that they then attempt to blame on staff.
• Scotrail inflaming the current situation by training up an army of ill-equipped scab managers to try and break any future action.
The strike ballot closes next Tuesday – the 7th of June.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
“The campaign of lies, deceit and dirty tricks currently being deployed by Scotrail in this dispute is extraordinary and instead of taking directly with the union they are looking to side line us and communicate through social media and junk mail. It won’t work and the tactics are only inflaming what is already a volatile situation. If staff have nothing to fear from the extension of DOO then why are the company going to these unprecedented lengths?
“The union is appalled that the company appear to be advising staff to over-ride standard practice at the platform/train interface, coming just as the RAIB release new data on the surge in “trap and drag” incidents this is truly shocking . The union will be reporting those comments from the Managing Director to the relevant safety authorities.
“The public won’t be fooled by any of this and RMT will continue to fight to win the battle for hearts and minds. The fact remains that any extension of DOO or DCO is a clear attack on both public safety 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 continue to stand together and demonstrate the strength of feeling across the Scotrail network during this dispute. The union remains available for further talks."
A petition has been set up by 38 Degrees calling for the retention of the guards/conductors on Scotrail services.
Join the RMT and other Trade Unions in opposition to removing the Guard (Conductor) from Abellio ScotRail services. The recent incident at East Dumbarton, where a traveller sadly suffered from life changing injuries, shows how unsafe Driver Only Operation has become. In this incident it emerged that a group of teenagers raised the alarm to oncoming trains.