Off the Rails has been covering the recent developments in RMT's dispute with Arriva Rail North, operators of Northern Railway over the company's plan to introduce Driver Only Operation.
In a letter from Acas chair Brendan Barber, RMT were informed that the company and Department for Transport were now willing to agree to a "Conductor on every train... ...for the remainder of the franchise". The letter invited the union to talks with the company and "other stakeholders" to discuss any necessary "changes to the operational mode".
The main "other stakeholders" here are Aslef, the union representing the vast majority of drivers. Aslef's leaders must not be allowed to collude in a sabotage the RMT's victory by agreeing to separate talks, which would open the door to a deal transferring hugely significant parts of the guard/conductor's operational responsibility onto the driving grade in return for improvements to drivers' terms and conditions.
Unions representing guards and drivers must negotiate together, in joint talks, to ensure a deal which pushes back DOO and protects the rights, and terms, and conditions of workers in all grades.