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Author Topic: Strike ballot for South Western Railway staff  (Read 2265 times)
Timmer
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« on: August 31, 2017, 02:51:17 pm »

As expected RMT are to ballot members for strike action on SWR:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41113700

I cannot help but think Stagecoach saw this coming so pledged to keep guards in their current role knowing it would cost them the franchise. Lets see of First/MTR can do better than Govia have done with handling this hot potato.
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Timmer
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2017, 12:18:47 pm »

Just in:
RMT union has announced workers on South Western Railway have voted by 4-1 in favour of striking in dispute over role of guards on trains.

Source: Sky News
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bignosemac
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2017, 09:35:11 pm »

The numbers:

Quote
TO ALL SWR COMMERCIAL GUARDS, GUARDS AND TRAIN DRIVERS

3rd October 2017

Dear Colleague,

Role of the Guard & Extension of DOO – South Western Railway

I write to advise you that the ballot has now closed and the result is as follows: -

Are you prepared to take strike action?

Number of individuals who were entitled to vote in the ballot: 805
   
Number of votes cast in the ballot: 617

Number of individuals answering “Yes” to the question: 504

Number of individuals answering “No” to the question: 113   
 
Number of spoiled or otherwise invalid voting papers returned: 1   

Are you prepared to take industrial action short of a strike?

Number of individuals who were entitled to vote in the ballot: 805   

Number of votes cast in the ballot: 617
 
Number of individuals answering “Yes” to the question: 561
   
Number of individuals answering “No” to the question: 56 
 
Number of spoiled or otherwise invalid voting papers returned: 1           

The National Executive Committee is currently considering this result and I shall write to you again shortly.

Yours sincerely
 
Mick Cash
General Secretary

https://www.rmt.org.uk/about/ballot-results/role-of-the-guard-and-extension-of-doo-swr031017/?preview=true

76% turnout. With 82% in favour of strike action. A strong mandate. I fear that SWR will soon be experiencing similar problems to GTR/Southern, Northern and Merseyrail. I also suspect SWR are doing the government's bidding and will not be making any promises to retain the Guard grade, but will be promising no job losses. Guards to become On Board Supervisors.

I also suspect the end game will be a resounding defeat for the RMT.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 10:30:30 pm by bignosemac » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2017, 09:53:40 pm »

By my reckoning it's actually 91% of votes cast for some action, and 82% for striking. But as that's still 62% of those who could vote, it is a big yes.

There still does not appear to be any specific proposal or trigger for this strike to be against. It's still about demanding a guarantee of no further DOO anywhere for the whole franchise:
Quote
“RMT has given repeated opportunities for First MTR to give us the assurances we have sought over the future role of the guards on their trains throughout the length of the new South Western franchise. They have refused to give us those guarantees and it is that failure which leaves RMT with no option but to declare a formal dispute with the company and to move towards a ballot for action.

So it's a pre-emptive strike.
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trainer
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2017, 10:14:08 pm »


Quote
which leaves RMT with no option but to declare a formal dispute with the company and to move towards a ballot for action.
(My emphasis)

Nonsense of course.  There is always an option, or indeed options. But when you are tied ideologically to struggle against management perhaps the desire to strike first is overwhelming.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2017, 10:30:15 pm »

By my reckoning it's actually 91% of votes cast for some action, and 82% for striking.

Typo on my part. Corrected.
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Timmer
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2017, 05:53:45 am »

Nonsense of course.  There is always an option, or indeed options. But when you are tied ideologically to struggle against management perhaps the desire to strike first is overwhelming.
Never ceases to amaze me just how many people in this country can afford to go on strike.
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chrisr_75
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2017, 09:41:47 am »

Nonsense of course.  There is always an option, or indeed options. But when you are tied ideologically to struggle against management perhaps the desire to strike first is overwhelming.
Never ceases to amaze me just how many people in this country can afford to go on strike.

And willingly give up a chunk of their income to militant idiots such as the RMT.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2017, 11:44:22 am »

Many (the majority?) only pay their subscription so that they are afforded the unions legal representation should they be involved in an incident.
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chrisr_75
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2017, 04:12:59 pm »

Many (the majority?) only pay their subscription so that they are afforded the unions legal representation should they be involved in an incident.

Legal cover can also be obtained from other sources such as a home insurance policy add on, a dedicated insurance policy and such like. If that's the real reason why the majority sign up to a union then I would implore them to use other sources for their personal legal cover and stop funding far left relics like the RMT (other unions are available).
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John R
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2017, 04:24:57 pm »

Much as the current strikes make me despair, the fact remains that the vast majority of members are voting in favour of them. So presumably they are not disaffected with what the union is doing for them.

The RMT and ASLEF have, whether you like it or not, been very successful in protecting their members' interests, helped by the disruption that can be caused by strikes and the length of time it would take to train new recruits.  RMT's sole aim with this dispute is to try and protect the muscle they have, as once the guard loses their safety role, a strike loses all impact (as is now seen in Southern).  In that sense, it is a strategic dispute to protect their members' interests long term.

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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2017, 04:32:10 pm »

Many (the majority?) only pay their subscription so that they are afforded the unions legal representation should they be involved in an incident.

Legal cover can also be obtained from other sources such as a home insurance policy add on, a dedicated insurance policy and such like. If that's the real reason why the majority sign up to a union then I would implore them to use other sources for their personal legal cover and stop funding far left relics like the RMT (other unions are available).

More for the specialist representation they can provide.  For example an allegation against a driver from a passenger.  The union is very good at ensuring proper protocols are followed whilst not many would trust the TOC to do the same - I know a couple of teachers who are members of the teaching union for the same reason.
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2017, 08:40:14 pm »

I know a couple of teachers who are members of the teaching union for the same reason.

Indeed I was always a member of a union when I was a teacher and am an advocate of them in principle.  Some teaching unions were more militant than others so I was fortunate in having a choice.  To be continually calling/advising/encouraging strikes may be seen as a sign of poor leadership and negotiating skills by some and by others the epitome of great leadership. Personally I'm in the first camp.
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Henry
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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2017, 11:59:20 am »


 Personally I would prefer a fully trained guard on a train I'm travelling on.

 Driver only operation I suppose is OK until something goes wrong.
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grahame
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2017, 06:10:34 pm »

Latest strike announcement from the RMT

Quote
RMT announces strike action on South Western Railway and Greater Anglia in separate disputes over guards and safety
RAIL UNION RMT today announced strike action on Greater Anglia and South Western Railway later this month in separate disputes over the threat to guards and the safety of the travelling public.
 
On Greater Anglia members will take strike action from 00.01 to 23.59 hours on Wednesday 27th December 2017
 
On South Western Railway members will take strike action from 00.01 hours to 23.59 on Sunday 31st December 2017
 
The union also revealed that yesterday it had met the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling and the rail minister Paul Maynard to try and resolve all of the current rail safety disputes but as a result of the meeting there seemed to be “contradictory messages, confusion and lack of clarity” coming from Ministers and the Department for Transport that made it extremely difficult to negotiate.
 
On the one hand the union were told at the meeting that the Government is not opposed to a second person on the train and it was up to the RMT and employers to reach an agreement. The union was also offered further talks to discuss concerns around accessibility in respect of driver only trains.
 
Then within an hour of the meeting finishing RMT General Secretary Mick Cash received a contradictory letter from Chris Grayling asking that the union accepts the principle of driver controlled operation, which is the same model as driver only operation.   The union has also subsequently been made aware that Chris Grayling has written to the train companies with the same letter.
 
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
 
“It’s the continuing failure of the train companies and their political puppet masters in Government to make any attempt whatsoever to resolve these disputes over rail safety that has led us to call action today and the responsibility for the disruption that will be caused lays fairly and squarely at their door.
 
“At the meeting yesterday with the Secretary of State Chris Grayling and the Rail Minister Paul Maynard we were told that we could reach a deal with the employers to keep a second person on the train and we were also offered further talks to discuss our concerns around driver only trains and accessibility.”
 
“But then within an hour of that meeting I received letter from Chris Grayling asking the union to accept the principle of Driver Only Operation which as everyone knows reduces accessibility because there is no longer guard to assist older and disabled passengers who need assistance. Astonishingly I have also been made aware that Chris Grayling has written to the train companies with the same letter.
 
“There is chaos and confusion  in the rail industry surrounding the Governments positon which makes it almost impossible to negotiate and  I have written to Chris Grayling to express my concern at this lack of clarity and contradictory messages but also to offer further talks not least on the vital issue of accessibility.
 
“It really should be straight forward - the Scottish and Welsh Governments have agreed to keep the guards on our trains so there is no reason why the UK government cannot as well.”
 
 
ENDS
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