Posted 9th June 2017 | 1 Comment

RMT demands post-election rethink over DCO

THE RMT has demanded an immediate halt to the conversion of train services to driver-controlled operation, dubbing it ‘a political policy driven by the Tory Party’.

Conservatives are now coming to terms with the fact that they lost their 17-seat majority in the General Election, and that a hung parliament lies ahead.

While the politicians jostle to negotiate a deal to achieve a working government, Mick Cash of the RMT has taken the overnight results as his cue to call for a rethink of plans to introduce driver-controlled operation on Merseyrail and Northern. He will also be calling for a reassessment on Southern where on board supervisors have already been introduced, although industrial disputes continue there as well.

ASLEF and Southern are almost half way through a two-week truce, in which the union has agreed to postpone its indefinite overtime ban over DCO in return for an undertaking that no train will run without an on-board supervisor, apart from services on the Brighton Main Line and those trains which routinely only have a driver.

Meanwhile, the RMT is preparing to contact three train operators, including Southern.

General secretary Mick Cash said: “‎RMT is calling this morning for an immediate halt to the push to axe the guards on our trains. That was a political policy driven by the Tory Party and should now be buried under the weight of votes that have racked up against Theresa May and her programme. There is no mandate for diluting safety on our transport services.

RMT will be writing to Northern, Southern and Merseyrail today demanding that they lift the threat to the guards on their trains and we expect them to do that in light of this election result with immediate effect. This is just a staging post ‎in the unstoppable drive towards the full public ownership of our transport services.

Reader Comments:

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  • Lee Clough, Derby

    The introduction of DOO isn't a political policy, it's good business sense! People had the same view when the automotive industry began introducing robotics for safety critical jobs such as welding. The simple fact is, in the long run, it makes better financial sense to have one person doing the job. What needs to be managed properly is the training and continuous assessment of the drivers to ensure they are still competent to carry out their duties. The unions need to stop getting in the way of technological advances and embrace a changing and modernising industry. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that it would be more dangerous to have the driver monitoring screens before closing the doors than it would be the guard as it is still a source for single point failure and both are open to the same human factors risks. People are frightened of change, I get that but they need to embrace it because it's coming no matter what.