3 October 2016
RMT Press Office
RAIL UNION RMT revealed this afternoon that Southern/GTR are refusing to have any kind of talks that might resolve the current guards safety dispute by slapping an impossible pre-condition down that “any discussions now can only relate to the detail of our offer.”
This outrageous pre-condition means that the solution to the current dispute, based on the deal recently secured on Scotrail which protects passengers through the guarantee of a second safety-critical member of staff on all current services, will not even be considered by Southern, let alone discussed in detail. The company are also refusing to release key members of the union negotiating team from their company posts to engage in the talks process.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary said,
“This morning we have seen a three pronged assault on staff by Southern in the form of their bodged social media attack on the workforce, tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayer and fare-payer money slung at a press advertising campaign denigrating their employees and an attempted bribe of £2000, laced with ultimatums and threats, to try and force our members to sell safety and quality of service.
“Now this company have upped the ante by telling us in a letter that they are only prepared to talk about their position and not that of the front-line workforce who are at the heart of this safety dispute. They are refusing point-blank to have any discussions around the Scotrail deal which is a solution to this dispute in the making. That is outrageous. They won’t even release our reps to take part in genuine talks.
“These are the tactics of a company that is out of control and which has declared war on its staff and passengers alike as they put their profits above safety while levelling a gun at the heads of the workforce.
“RMT members will not be bullied, bribed or beaten regardless of the tactics deployed by Southern. We stand firm and our offer of genuine and meaningful talks, where both sides set out their positions, stands.”