31 March 2020
RMT Press Office:
RMT slams damaging and divisive approach to industrial relations from South Western Railway in midst of coronavirus emergency
Rail union RMT today slammed rail operator South Western Railway for adopting a deliberately provocative, damaging and divisive approach aimed at pitting worker against worker when maximum unity at a time of national emergency in the midst of the coronavirus crisis is absolutely essential.
RMT is angry at moves to drive through new operational and pay agreements for traincrew that sideline the biggest rail union, breach previous commitments, and roadblock negotiations aimed at settling the long running dispute over guards and safety on SWR trains.
RMT has written to the company today demanding that they call a halt to their "divide and rule" approach and has also written to ACAS calling for all party talks, while recognising the logistical difficulties in the current environment.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“South Western Railway have opted to take a provocative, damaging and divisive approach to industrial relations in the midst of the coronavirus crisis when we should all be looking at the maximum unity.
“That is wholly unacceptable and RMT is demanding that they pull back from this confrontational approach and get back into discussions with us around the broad range of issues including the on-going guards' safety dispute."