Tag Archives: RMT

Rail union suspends strikes

From Brighton & Hove Independent

The RMT has suspended strike action by both drivers and guards on Southern Rail after being approached for direct talks with the Secretary of State.

The RMT union has suspended the industrial strike for guards planned for Tuesday, August 1, after the union’s general secretary was invited to meet with Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for transport.

A driver strike on Tuesday, August 1, Wednesday, August 2, and Friday, August 4, has also been called off.

“We instruct the General Secretary to arrange the meeting and to place back before this NEC an update on the progress of the talks by Tuesday, August 1,” a spokesman said.

“RMT will be making no further comment at this stage as we arrange details for the talks and allow them space to take place.”

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Southern Rail reintroduces emergency timetable

From The Argus

Buses are set to replace trains in parts of the county as Southern Railway announced the implementation of a new emergency timetable.

Southern announced that from Tuesday until further notice, services between Lewes and Seaford are all cancelled.

Bus services will operate between Seaford, Bishopstone, Newhaven Harbour, Newhaven Town, Southease and Lewes.

It is not the first time passengers on the Seaford branch line has had its services axed. Around 80 per cent of trains on the route were axed in July.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union on Southern will strike for three days from Tuesday in protest at changes to the role of conductors.

The drivers’ union Aslef is due to start an overtime ban on Southern from Tuesday ahead of strikes later in the month and in the new year in a row over driver-only trains.

Southern is taking legal action to try to stop the strikes, but if the action goes ahead, services will be crippled.

Southern warned passengers to expect “severe and significant” disruption to Southern and Gatwick Express services every day from Tuesday.

Southern is advising that Aslef’s continuous drivers’ overtime ban will severely affect services every day.

On RMT strike days this will result in only around 50% of the full timetable being able to operate. If the Aslef strikes go ahead, no Southern services will operate, with only Thameslink services to Three Bridges and Brighton and a limited service on Gatwick Express.

Southern director Alex Foulds said: “Regrettably, because of this wholly unnecessary and unjustified industrial action, there will be severe and significant disruption on our network from Tuesday and customers are advised that stations will be incredibly busy.

“If passengers can make alternative travel arrangements they should, and if they don’t have to travel they shouldn’t. If the drivers’ strikes go ahead, there will be no services on Southern and customers should not attempt to travel.

“We’re doing everything we can to stop the drivers’ strike and that’s why we are seeking an injunction in the High Court.

“This industrial action is a clearly co-ordinated and cynical manoeuvre by the unions to bring yet further travel misery to passengers as well as having a detrimental impact on the regional economy when it least needs it.

“If the unions are listening to passengers then they will call off all industrial action now and give hardworking commuters and their families their lives back.”

Thameslink is not directly affected by the strike action, although its services are expected to be extremely busy.

Other operators’ services are not affected, but are likely to be busier.

More strikes threatened on Southern Rail

From The Argus

Now a second train driver union ballots for strikes

Now a second train driver union ballots for strikes

Southern rail drivers in the RMT union will join Aslef colleagues in voting on possible strike action which would cripple Sussex rail links in the run-up to Christmas.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said drivers it represents on Southern Railway will vote on industrial action over driver-only trains.

The ballot will open on November 4 and close two weeks later, mirroring the voting timetable of the main drivers’ union, Aslef, in the same dispute.

Southern is embroiled in a bitter dispute with the RMT over changes to the role of conductors which has sparked a campaign of industrial action.

General secretary Mick Cash said: “Drivers on Southern Rail will find themselves dangerously exposed if the company decide to plough ahead with their ill-conceived and dangerous plans for a wholesale extension of driver-only operation on their routes.

“Drivers will be placed in an impossible position, trying to monitor despatch from overcrowded platforms while they should be concentrating on the job of driving the train. The consequences for safety at the critical platform/train interface are horrendous.

“The union will be calling for a massive Yes vote as we step up the pressure on Southern to abandon their high-risk plans.”

Southern insists driver-only trains are safe, stressing the system is in place across large sections of the rail network.

Meanwhile, the RMT announced the timetable for a strike ballot among almost 3,500 London Underground workers over jobs and the closure of ticket offices.

Voting will start next week and the result will be known in mid-November.

Mr Cash said: “London Underground knows that it has compromised safety and customer service across its stations by cutting jobs. A responsible employer would reverse the job cuts and put staff back into station control rooms.

“If London Underground really cares about passengers, it would reverse the ticket office closure programme.

“The continuing impact of those cuts leaves us with no alternative but to move to a ballot for industrial action and the terror alert at North Greenwich last week has confirmed the urgency of the current situation and the nonsense of axing station staff.”

RMT urges Southern guards to take new role

From Brighton & Hove News

conductors-strike

The RMT union has urged train guards to take the new onboard supervisor roles being offered by Southern.

But the union has insisted that the three-day strike due to start on Tuesday 11 October will go ahead.

Southern welcomed the RMT’s new advice to members and called on union leaders to call off the “pointless” strike.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Despite the company spin there is no climb down from the union.

“Our dispute remains on and the fight for safety continues despite the bullying and threats from Southern.

“We have a duty to issue our members with clear legal advice that protects their position in the teeth of the threat of mass sackings. That is what we have done.”

Mr. Cash said that the union wanted to return to the arbitration and conciliation service ACAS for talks about the long-running dispute.

But, he said, the union had been rebuffed by bosses from Southern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR).

Southern said that it would run more than six out of ten services during the strike this week – more trains than it ran during previous strikes.

For the full story click here.

RMT announces five new dates for strikes on Southern

From The Argus

rmt

Southern Railway workers are to stage 14 days of strike action in five blocks from next month in the long running dispute over the role of conductors.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union announced an escalation of industrial action which will bring fresh travel chaos for hundreds of thousands of passengers.

The strikes will start on October 11 and will be held intermittently until December 8.

The union has held a series of walkouts in recent months in protest against changes to the role of conductors at Southern, which is owned by Govia Thameslink Railway.

Conductors are to take strike action by not booking on for any shifts between:

• 00.01 on Tuesday 11th October and 23.59 on Thursday 13th October

• 00.01 on Tuesday 18th October and 23.59 on Thursday 20th October

• 00.01 on Thursday 3rd November and 23.59 on Saturday 5th November

• 00.01 on Tuesday 22nd November and 23.59 on Wednesday 23rd November

• 00.01 on Tuesday 6th December and 23.59 on Thursday 8th December.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said in a statement: “Yet again our members are being forced to take industrial action in a bid to maintain a safe and secure service on Southern.

Govia Thameslink and the government have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute.

“Instead they have begun the process of bulldozing through the drive towards wholesale Driver Only Operation (DOO) without agreement and without any concern for the impact on safety, security and disability access.

“Last week there was a train derailment near Watford that involved two trains.

“The guards on both trains played a vital role in protecting the passengers and the trains in what were extremely frightening circumstances.

“If the train had been DOO and without a guard the consequences would have been far worse.

“This week we reached a deal with Scotrail that we are recommending for acceptance in a referendum of our members, that guarantees a fully competent conductor/guard on every new train.

“This agreement protects passengers, and guarantees a second safety trained member of staff on board a train, who can assist if there is an incident such as we recently saw near Watford.

“If an agreement can be reached on Scotrail, then an agreement can also be made on Southern.

“In the light of these recent developments it is disgraceful that neither the company or the Government are prepared to engage and are continuing to attempt to impose DOO in the interests of putting profit before safety.

“We call on them to get round the negotiating table as an urgent priority.”

GTR’s Passenger Services Director Angie Doll said in a statement: “The RMT’s desire to heap yet further travel misery on the public and affect the everyday lives of so many people is shameful.