15 August 2016
RMT Press Office:
Southern dispute talks breakdown as company reject RMT proposal to ensure second person on train to deliver safety, customer service and access.
Talks at ACAS over the future of Conductor/Guards on Southern services have broken down this morning after the company rejected out of hand a solid union proposal that would have ensured the second person on a train and the safety, customer service and access role that they deliver to the travelling public.
RMT tabled a reasonable and practical document that would have set the ground for resolving all aspects of the dispute without dilution of safety standards, would have addressed the needs of the business, and ensured that disabled, elderly and other groups could rely on a member of staff being on board to assist and facilitate their travel. This would have addressed all of the company’s concerns but GTR made it clear that they did not want to ensure the presence of the second person.
The RMT executive will meet this afternoon to consider the next move.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"We had a golden opportunity in these talks to make some serious progress on the core issue of a second person on the train who would have protected the safety of passengers, delivered customer service and ensured access to services for those with disabilities or needing assistance.
"It's a bitter blow that a firm set of union proposals that could have allowed us to move forward were rejected out of hand. The matter will be discussed by the union executive this afternoon."