12 February 2018
RMT Press Office:
Latest phase of industrial action goes ahead from Friday on South Western Railway in Guards' safety dispute.
RAIL UNION RMT said today that industrial action involving members on South Western Railway goes ahead from Friday 16th February in the dispute over safety, the role of the guard and the rolling out of Driver Only Operation after management at the company not only failed to engage with the union in talks but instead resorted to threatening and intimidating their front line staff.
Members will be taking action as follows:
1.All Guards, Commercial Guards and Train Driver Members
•Not to undertake any rest day working from 00:01 hours on Friday 16th February 2018 until 23:59 hours on Monday 19th February 2018.
2.Guard and Commercial Guard Members
•From 00:01 hours on Friday 16th February 2018 until 23:59 hours on Monday 19th February 2018, all Guards and Commercial Guard members are instructed to take industrial action by refusing to work in accordance with key sections of the Guards Restructuring Agreement.
Last week, in a blatant attempt to try and harass their staff, South Western Railway sent threatening and intimidating letters to individual union members suggesting that they will be making illegal deductions to the wages of staff to recoup losses arising from the current industrial dispute.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“It is frankly disgraceful that South Western Railway point-blank refuse to engage with the union in meaningful talks over their plans to run trains without a safety-critical guard on board across this franchise. Instead, they have resorted to the crudest possible attempts to threaten, bully and harass our members fighting to put public safety before private profit.
“South Western Railway should call off these disgraceful attacks on their front-line staff and should start talking seriously with the union around an agreement that underpins the guard guarantee and ensures safe, accessible and secure services for all.
“It is the continuing intransigent attitude of the company which has forced us to put on this latest phase of industrial action in an effort to force them to see sense and to drive them back to the negotiating table for genuine and meaningful talks.
“We know that this action will have a serious impact on services and the responsibility for the disruption caused will be wholly down to South Western Railway and their pig-headed attitude. It is time for the company to get out of the bunker, stop threatening their staff and start talking.”