23 December 2015
Our Ref: BR2/0146
23rd December 2015
ROLE OF THE GUARD, EXTENSION OF DOO – SOUTHERN
For some considerable time, the RMT has been seeking written assurances from Southern GTR not to bring forward plans to extend Driver Only Operation over any geographical areas within or bordering the entire franchise. I can now advise you that I have received correspondence from the company proposing to extend DOO during July 2016 and to create a new role for the current Conductors grade.
As you are aware, it is RMT’s policy for no extension of DOO on any route or service and for the Guard to be in full operational control of the power operated doors. Furthermore, the RMT are totally opposed to any proposals for extending DOO, reducing or abolishing the safety role of the Conductor and reducing or abolishing the role of the Conductor in operation of the doors.
Therefore, the matter has been subject to recent consideration by your union’s Executive Committee who has taken the decision to go into dispute with the company over this very important issue and prepare a ballot matrix of all our Southern Conductor and Conductor Instructor members for industrial action. I am giving this matter my full attention and I will provide our affected members with a further update on the situation early next year.
In addition to the above, the RMT will be liaising with our Parliamentary Group of MPs to submit an Early Day Motion in support of this campaign, producing publicity material for distribution amongst our members and the travelling public and writing to relevant Trades Councils, Passenger Groups and Disabled Groups to inform them and explain the union’s position.
In the meantime, I have written to ASLEF seeking their official support on this very important matter and I have requested their attendance to speak at local meetings which I will be organising, together with special branch meetings, throughout 2016. I trust this keeps you fully advised on the matter and may I take this opportunity of wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.