17 June 2016
RMT Press Office:
Scotrail turn down talks offer from RMT in guards dispute – union makes new call for talks over the weekend.
RAIL UNION RMT said today that Scotrail have turned down an offer to commence talks today, and over the weekend if required, in the dispute over the extension of Driver Only Operation and Driver Controlled operation on Scotrail with strike action set to start first thing on Tuesday.
The union has written yet again to the company this morning calling on Scotrail to stop dragging its heels, to take the safety concerns of the union and its members seriously and to get back rack round the table for genuine negotiations.
The industrial action remains firmly on and the programme will commence as follows;
• 0001 hours and 2359 hours Tuesday 21stJune 2016
• 0001 hours and 2359 hours Thursday 23rdJune 2016
• 0001 hours Saturday 25th June 2016 and 2359 hours Sunday 26th June 2016
• 0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 3rd July 2016
• 0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 10th July 2016
• 0001 hours to 2359 hours Sunday 17th July 2016
Action Short of a strike (Overtime Ban)
• 0001 hours and 2359 hours Wednesday 22nd June 2016
• 0001 hours and 2359 hours Friday 24th June 2016
• 0001 hours on Monday 27th June 2016 and 2359 hours Saturday 2nd July 2016
• 0001 hours on Monday 11th July 2016 and 2359 hours Saturday 16th July 2016
• 0001 hours on Monday 18th July 2016 and 2359 hours Saturday 16th July 2016
RMT’s policy is 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, RMT has made it clear that the union is totally opposed to any proposals for extending DOO and reducing or abolishing the safety-critical role of the Conductor in managing the safety of passengers at the platform/train interface.
Scotrail have been repeatedly informed of RMT’s position and the company have claimed that they accepted the importance of these issues. Additionally, the company were written to in order to seek the necessary assurance that no extension of DOO or DCO would be put in place during the lifetime of the Abellio Scotrail franchise.
Those assurances have not been forthcoming and instead of talking directly to the union Abellio/Scotrail have resorted to targeting individual members through social media and junk mail in a campaign of misinformation which, as last week’s ballot result shows, has backfired spectacularly.
Since the ballot result was declared there has been no further progress with the company and the union has had no option but to confirm the programme of industrial action.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
“It is extraordinary that, with the serious nature of this dispute, and the impact that it will have on rail services across Scotland, Scotrail are dragging their heels over talks. The union has made another attempt to get those talks moving, over the weekend if required, and it makes no sense at all for the company to continue to blank us.
"The workforce know that any extension of DOO or DCO is a clear attack on 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.
"The workforce also know only too well that there is 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.
"The union remains available for serious and meaningful talks over the weekend but the ball is now firmly in Scotrail’s court and RMT expects an urgent and positive response to the further call that we have issued today."