Posted 16th March 2017 | 4 Comments

RMT rejects proposed DOO Southern deal

THE RMT has rejected the proposed DOO Southern deal between ASLEF and Govia Thameslink Railway which was agreed last night.

General secretary Mick Cash said: "We have now had a chance to look at the detail and this is basically the old deal in a new envelope and RMT does not believe for a moment that drivers and guards will be hoodwinked.

"Drivers and passengers have still lost the cast-iron guarantee they once had of a guard on the train which means they will now be more exposed and left vulnerable when something goes wrong. Disabled passengers will be seriously disadvantaged as access to train services ‎is compromised.

"GTR bosses and Charles Horton will be delighted at this proposed deal as no juggling or fiddling with words can disguise the fact that it gives the bosses the whip hand to continue to drive down safety and hammer down on the workforce."

"The fact is that GTR have deliberately done this deal behind the backs of guards and their union. Yet again guards are finding out at the last minute and via social media not from their employer. The real agenda here is to undermine the jobs and skills of a loyal and dedicated workforce regardless of the cost to safety and accessibility.

"RMT'S disputes remains on and we are seeking an urgent meeting with company and government."

GTR and ASLEF had already said that they will not be commenting again until the result of the ASLEF referendum is known on 3 April.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Paul, Stockport

    Where is your evidence that there is zero evidence that safety is in any way compromised? I would suggest you search on the RAIB's website under 'Passenger Accident' and see how many are DOO. As for train drivers wanting airline pilot salaries...I can't remember when I was on a plane where the pilot was responsible for opening/closing the doors, or evacuating passengers in an emergency. The driver's job is to get the train safely from A-B and to know what to do if it fails, or what to do in an emergency. Most drivers do not want the responsibility for closing the doors, however much they get paid. The plain fact is, it is much safer for the passengers to have a guard on the train and much cheaper for the train operating companies if there isn't one

  • claydon william, Norwich, Norfolk

    Hey Mick; your union signed up to DOO in 2011; and largely on that basis, new fleets of trains were ordered.

    DOO trains operate safely all over the network; (and the wider world); and despite what the RMT says; there is zero evidence that wider vsafety is in any way compromised.

    DOO is perfectly safe, and rail operators are right to want to change the roles of secondary train staff. It is ridiculous that train drivers want airline pilot salaries, but the RMT doesn't want them to have the responsibility for the doors. The fact that ASLEF; (and the TUC); have signed off on the deal, tells you there are no safety complications with DOO.

    Mick Cash is still living in the 1960's, but after all, we managed to move on from ricketts, diphtheria and TB well enough; so why not an amended role for train guards.

    I suspect this dispute is much more about what the RMT sees through the looking glass, and doesn't like the prospect of DLR like driverless trains everywhere, and is digging its heels in now. This dispute in truth has nothing to do with safety; and everything to do with the RMT spoiling for a fight with the government and pushing its 'nationalisation' agenda.

  • Mick Rogers, Cardiff

    As a rail user I would much rather have a cast iron guarantee of a train turning up when I expect it. Whether or not it has a second, customer interfacing, member of staff (whatever their job title) on it is at best of secondary importance.

  • Douglas, Edinburgh

    How can the RMT reject a deal between ASLEF and GRT? It wasn't a deal with them...?
    [It has done it just the same! Mr Cash is quite impossible to misunderstand. He could have said he liked it and would be recommending it to his members ... but he isn't.--Editor.]