Talks Collapse – Strike Action & O/T Ban Still On!

Talks Collapse – Strike Action & O/T Ban Still On!

6 July 2015


First Great Western - Intercity Express Programme

Our Ref HC/14/2

6th July 2015


Dear Colleagues,

Talks Collapse – Strike Action & O/T Ban Still On!

Intercity Express Programme

Crisis talks were held this morning with First Great Western in our dispute over the threat to jobs and safety from the introduction of the new Hitachi Inter-City trains. Regrettably no acceptable offer was tabled and therefore talks have broken down. As a result the forty eight hours of strike action across the company starting at 18.30 hours on Wednesday 8th July and the overtime ban from Friday 10th July goes ahead as planned.

We believe First Great Western were simply going through the motions today rather than addressing the fundamental issues at the heart of the dispute , the key points which are:
•    To keep a safety competent Guard on every train.
•    To keep safety critical station Despatch staff.
•    To keep buffet car facilities on every train.
•    To ensure that the maintenance of new rolling stock remains in-house.
•    No job losses.
As you will be well aware, RMT has made every effort to secure a series of very basic assurances from FGW over jobs, services and safety as a result of the introduction of the new Hitachi fleet. They have shown no intention of addressing those issues in the talks today and have ignored the massive vote for action by you and your colleagues. Instead they have opted to plough ahead with a series of actions that will decimate jobs, services and safety. As a result of FGW collapsing the talks in this cavalier fashion, the action goes ahead as planned.
It is frankly ludicrous that East Coast, who are introducing the same trains, have given us the assurances we are seeking but FGW have ignored us and are crashing on with the ripping out of buffet cars and the threat to safety-critical station and train staff purely to maximise the profits from new trains bought for them by the British taxpayer.
There will be a rally in support of FGW members at 17.00 hours Wednesday 8th July at Paddington station. We will also be out at stations this week with a public campaign to expose this shabby and profiteering treatment of both passengers and staff alike by a company that already has one of the worst reputations in the industry for milking the privatised railway for every penny they can.

The solidarity and determination of you and your colleagues has been incredible and you should be very proud of the overwhelming ballot result. FGW seem hell bent on conflict when all they need to do is address our reasonable concerns about jobs and safety. They must be left in no doubt that they must address our concerns immediately.

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary

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Tagged with: fgw, first great western, strike