Crucial week in DOO strikes

Submitted by SJW on 29 August, 2018 - 8:31 Author: a train driver

This week (27 August) could be a crucial in the ongoing dispute between the RMT and the South Western Railway, Northern and Merseyrail franchises.

Talks under the auspices of ACAS have collapsed again at SWR, with the RMT calling further strikes on 2, 8 and 15 September and accusing the company of “making a mockery” of the talks. At Northern, previous talks collapsed and further strikes were called for 25 August and 1 and 8 September. New talks via ACAS were due to begin on Tuesday 28 August. The strike on 25 August showed no sign of a loss of resolve among the membership. At the time of writing the other strike dates remain in place, with a further three dates being added for 15, 22 and 29 September.

31 August represents a key date at Merseyrail. The union has been locked in ACAS talks over the issue since Easter but this date is the deadline they have set for a deal to be produced. It is likely that RMT will put some more strike dates on if a settlement is not reached, probably to match as many of the Northern dates as possible after the statutory 2 week notice period.

Meanwhile, drivers' union Aslef is mostly maintaining its shameful silence on these disputes. Its members at Merseyrail have remained unwaivering in their solidarity in respecting RMT picket lines. Yet Aslef leadership figures continue their hypocritical approach of heaping praise on the Merseyrail members while doing absolutely nothing about the mass crossing of picket lines by their members at the other franchises.

The spotlight will be on them when RMT settles the various disputes. Aslef leaders have promised to fight DOO whenever it is proposed to them by rail bosses anywhere.

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