Off The Rails

No to DOO!

The Department for Transport’s “Stakeholder Consultation” document, released in Summer 2014, contained a requirement for bidders for the next Northern Rail franchise to set out a plan for moving to Driver Only Operation (DOO).

In addition to this, it left the question of whether to introduce DOO on Transpennine Express to the discretion of those bidding to run that franchise.

Moving to DOO nationally is one of the key recommendations of “Realising the Potential of GB Rail”, aka The McNulty Report.

RMT rule changes

The next RMT Annual General Meeting, in June 2015, will be a chance to discuss changes to the union’s rules.

The Executive will be submitting its own proposals arising from the review of the union’s structure - but rank-and-file members can also submit proposals through branches.

Eight branches need to submit any particular proposal for it to get on the agenda. Off The Rails is promoting five proposals: see the insert in the zine for the full wording.

Off The Rails goes to France...

Off the Rails was in Paris at the beginning of October, speaking about the experience of 20 years of railway privatisation in Britain to French railworkers who are facing the start of a serious drive on the part of their state to privatise the railway because of pressure from the EU’s fourth rail package reforms.

We applauded the fact that French railworkers have already taken 2 weeks of strike action in June against the plans, contrasting it with the failure of British railworkers to strike against privatisation back in 1994 at its inception.

Cleaners' struggles

Cleaners on Eurostar fought a campaign this year over pay, workload and staffing levels. Cleaners on London Underground’s Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines battled hard to resist their employer’s imposition of biometric booking on.  

These groups of cleaners work for ISS - popularly known in the industry as International Slavery Services. But other cleaning contractors have found themselves facing a fightback from their workforces too.

First Great Western; Rail Gourmet; Northern Rail; Network Rail

A round-up of disputes and struggles at First Great Western, Rail Gourmet, and Northern Rail.


First Great Western

RMT members have been challenging First Great Western for months over several issues that amounted to what the RMT called a “breakdown in industrial relations”. In parallel, RMT members have been fighting an ongoing battle with First Great Western for the London Living Wage for Mitie and Rail Gourmet workers.

Fighting for LGBT rights worldwide

In many countries across the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are recurrently subjected to targeted killings, violent assaults, torture, and sexual violence.

Funding strikes to win

As government cuts proceed unabated, and employers tighten the screw to make us pay and drive up their profits, rail workers find ourselves fighting more and more disputes.
And those disputes are for higher and higher stakes, fought with seriousness and determination by both sides.

Just as a snapshot, we currently have disputes on (at least) First Great Western, Heathrow Express/Connect, several cleaning companies, Northern Rail, London Underground, London Midland, Balfour Beatty, and probably several more.

Fighting for rail renationalisation

ASLEF and TSSA voted to accept the “Collins Review” rule changes, which will lead to a drastic reduction in their (and all other Labour-affiliated unions’) voting strength within Labour Party structures.

Northern Rail's toilet humour

Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, all public transport will have to be accessible by 2019.

The ageing "Pacer" DMUs (Classes 142, 143 and 144) cannot be made accessible without considerable refurbishment and the sacrifice of a good deal of the existing saloon space.

Fighting sexism

2015 will mark 100 years since the first woman joined the RMT's forerunner, the NUR.  
RMT women will use this anniversary to take pride in 100 years of fighting battles to break down barriers to equal treatment in our industry and our union.

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