1 September 2017
RMT Press Office
RMT warns against danger of driver only trains on the Wales and Borders Franchise as strike action takes place on other rail companies
RAIL UNION RMT has warned today against introducing driver only trains on the Wales and Borders Franchise, as strike action takes place on rail companies in the rest of UK.
Whilst there are not any proposals for the Driver Only Trains in the current franchise – which ends in October 2018 – RMT members will be leafleting at stations on 4 September urging passengers to lobby their Assembly Members and MPs to oppose any attempts to remove Guards from the next Wales and Borders franchise.
The union has revealed it has been supported by findings in the Welsh Government’s own consultation with passengers on future of the franchise which said:
“Over 90% of respondents said a second member of staff was either quite important or essential in essential in the Wales and Borders region and Metro …health, safety and security were seen to be most important role of the second person.”
The union has also pointed to the conclusion of Wales Assembly Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee inquiry into the franchise published in June which says:
“The Committee welcomes the talks that have taken place between Welsh Government / TFW and the unions to try and head off the industrial disputes seen in other parts of the UK.”
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said,
“At the moment passengers on every Wales and Borders rail service are guaranteed the protection of a Guard on every train to ensure their safety and security and the Welsh Government’s own survey has resoundingly said passengers want to keep it that way.
“Today, strike action is taking place by RMT Guards in other parts of the UK and the last thing we want is for these types of disputes to escalate to Wales. Our members are leafleting passengers today to ask them to lobby their Assembly Members and MPs to oppose any attempts to remove Guards from the next Wales and Borders franchise.”
“Not only do passengers want to keep their Guards, it would be also be a monumental scandal if the shortlisted bidders for the Wales and Border Franchise – who are all owned by foreign states – were allowed to cut decent, skilled, safety critical jobs from Wales and use the profits to support their own railways in China, France, Germany and Holland.”
Notes to Editors:
The reference for support for Guards on trains can be found on page 6 of the summary of responses.
RMT members will be leafleting passenger at the following stations on 4th September.
Cardiff Central 07.00-09.00
Llandudno Junction 07.00-09.00