Striking guards at East Midlands Trains, soon to be East Midlands Railway, will be striking for a 3rd successive Saturday tomorrow. The past two actions have been well supported; EMT can only operate a much reduced service by drafting in its own and other companies’ managers to operate the train doors and perform platform duties.
The dispute is over EMT’s unilateral imposition of a 25% pay cut for guards in their first year, a failure on their part to fix the quota of ‘5 day’ guards at each depot and implement progression to ‘4 day’ link arrangements. There is also an issue with “Pink days”, extra days that have to be worked to make up a shortfall in rostered hours.
As Stagecoach/EMT will be handing over the franchise on 18 August there doesn’t seem to be any desire from them to end the dispute. Before the first strike they said they couldn’t attend last minute talks because there was nobody available on the management side. That position seems to have hardened after they withdrew the role of full time convenor yesterday. This could be a case of the old HR director EMT who becomes the new HR director EMR trying to firm up their position in the new company.
In any case we should add the reinstatement of the convenor role to our list of demands to settle the dispute and to welcome the new owners on 18 August we have announced another strike the day before.