29 September 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT welcomes announcement by Welsh First Minister that the next Wales & Borders Franchise will keep the Safety Critical Guard on all trains
Rail union RMT today welcomed the announcement by the Welsh Government's First Minister Carwyn Jones that it has committed for the next franchise to keep a safety critical conductor or guard on all of the Wales & Borders trains and services including the South Wales Metro trains and that the trains will require this second person on board to operate.
The union also welcomed a suite of other commitments from the First Minister including a no compulsory redundancy guarantee and a positive framework for discussions to seek to progress unions aspirations around rolling stock maintenance, stations and ticket office staff and cleaning and catering staff.
Committments have also been given that responsibility and ownership of the railway infrastructure will remain with Network Rail and in the event of the Core Valley lines being transferred to the Welsh Government ownership and responsibility of the infrastructure will remain in the public sector under Transport for Wales, with options being identified for affected staff to be able to stay employed by Network Rail.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
“The First Minister's welcome commitment to keep a guard on every train is a breakthrough for our campaign against driver only trains and for our campaign for a safe, secure and accessible railway, not only in Wales but nationwide.
“Our policy is for a national integrated railway under public ownership and we will continue to campaign for that objective. We note that this is also the aspiration of the Welsh Government who are operating within the legislative constraints imposed by Westminster.
"Within that legislative straight jacket however it is welcome that we have been able to engage in very positive and constructive discussions with the First Minster who has made an important set of commitments to protect the jobs and conditions of rail workers in Wales which will now underpin further detailed discussions.”