Northern guards: put the action back on!

Posted in Off The Rails's blog on Wed, 02/10/2019 - 22:39,

Word has it that Northern Rail management have come up with a spiffing new idea for undermining the role of guard, and seem to think that we may be daft enough not to see through it.

It goes like this. The train pulls in to the station. The driver opens the doors. The guards steps onto the platform. When the PTI is clear, the guard presses the buzzer to tell the driver that it is safe to close the doors. The driver closes the doors.

Of course, there is the small matter that the buzzer is not live while the doors are open. But in case they get a technical fix for that, the bigger question is: If the guard can press a buzzer to communicate with the driver, then why can't the guard press a button to close the doors?

The answer, of course, is that they can. So why would the company get the guard to press something to tell the driver to close the doors when they can just as easily have them press something to close the doors themselves? The only answer to that question is that their longer-term aim is to scrap the guard.

First, it will be the guard pressing a buzzer to tell the driver. Then it'll be in-cab CCTV meaning that no guard is needed. We can see where this is going, amd this plan is not acceptable.

We say 'Word is ...' because it has been hard to find out for certain what is going on. Discussions are taking place behind closed doors and above the heads even of our company council reps. RMT promised its guard members in July that it would give us an update by the end of September. That was frustrating enough, but it is now October and we still have no definite news.

If the union keeps on keeping us in the dark, it will find that our patience runs out. We have been fighting this dispute for a long time and we won't allow all the momentum to drain out of it.

It is high time for us to go back on strike, and not stop our action again until we have secured the future of the guard.


Submitted by Uncle Joe (not verified) on Mon, 28/10/2019 - 08:53

It's a fabrication to say Company and even local council level reps have not been involved.

Company council reps have been part of the negotiations on the method of work and local level reps attended consultations in July, one in Doncaster and one in Liverpool to be briefed and asked for feedback. All reps attending believed the proposed method of work was acceptable. Aside that, in true democratic fashion all members are now being asked about how they now want the direction of this dispute to go.

Typical Trot nonsense from the AWL, trying to tell the woring class what to think.

Submitted by Shelagh Hewitt (not verified) on Mon, 28/10/2019 - 12:45

Company council were not involved in the ACAS talks that led to this idea. From RMT there was Mick Cash, Micky Thompson and Steve Nott. I asked the question about who was involved at our branch meeting which was incidentally attended by our chair of company council, Billy Kimm. Steve Nott attended our next branch meeting and confirmed who was there. I notice you don’t actually print your name but I would like to know where you got your information from.

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