21 July 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT to urge Chris Grayling to resolve Southern dispute and prevent similar disputes spreading across the network.
On the day that RMT General Secretary Mick Cash meets Chris Grayling the union has called on the Secretary of State to direct Southern to break the deadlock in the long-running Southern Rail dispute by agreeing an accessibility guarantee which would mean that passengers on all affected services are assured of assistance from on board service staff without the need to book in advance.
The union will also be asking that Mr Grayling agree to assist in resolving other disputes, and prevent other potential disputes, where the Department for Transport is determining policy on Driver Only trains.
These include Northern Rail where action is already underway, South West Trains where the union is considering all options and Abellio Greater Anglia where a dispute has now been declared.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“It is now accepted that Chris Grayling is directing the Southern dispute so only he can resolve it. Therefore will be asking that he authorise an accessibility guarantee on Southern, which will then allow me to put back a positive report to our NEC.
"The union will also be urging him to allow for negotiations to take place to end the Northern Driver Only dispute where we have been told DFT are preventing a deal. We will also be asking that he pull back from engineering a Southern style confrontation across the network, including on South West Trains and Abellio Anglia.
"Today’s talks will show us whether he is sincere and bringing fresh thinking to the table or just going through the motions. RMT is entering the talks with positive proposals for resolving the disputes. ”