31 January 2017
RMT Press Office:
Southern strip key train crew of safety accreditation in a move designed to shove two fingers up at the TUC talks.
RAIL UNION RMT has reacted with fury after Southern Rail confirmed today that they are planning to strip On Board Supervisors on their services of their guard’s safety licence and certification.
In a letter to Chief Executive Charles Horton, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash, says:
“I am distressed to have received reports of actions taken by the company against staff who have been forced into the OBS role and are now having their guard’s license/certification cards, detailing their safety critical competencies, withdrawn. RMT members have been expressing directly to me their shock and distress at this step taken by the company. Many of these staff have 30+ years service with the railway and I believe this move is designed to undermine the confidence of these staff and is leading to them experiencing demoralisation and humiliation.
I further believe that this action will lead to a less safe railway and the company are further undermining the safe operation of your services. This is at a time when we continue to receive almost daily reports of problems with the safe operation of DOO working both from our own sources and from the ORR.
You should immediately re-consider both this underhand step and the company’s whole approach to passenger safety in this matter and I look forward to your response.”
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“For two weeks Southern have been in talks brokered through the TUC over the drivers’ dispute and the bulldozing through of DOO, talks that RMT have been excluded from.
“Now, right in the middle of those talks, Southern are stripping OBS’s of their safety accreditation in a spiteful act designed to undermine and humiliate RMT members while shoving two fingers up at the TUC discussions and everyone engaged in them.
“This sort of aggressive and provocative behaviour does nothing to resolve the disputes and RMT repeats the call for immediate inclusion in talks, a cessation to this hostile approach from the company and a genuine attempt to negotiate a settlement.”