Rail union confirms further strike action on Greater Anglia over guards and safety row
- Credit: Archant
Rail Union RMT has confirmed further strike action will take place in a row over rail safety and the axing of guards on Greater Anglia services.
Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport union will strike on Saturday, June 16, and Saturday, June 23.
RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash, said: “Yet again the intransigence of Abellio Greater Anglia over the key issue of the guard guarantee means that we have no option but to announce further strike action.
“Despite strenuous efforts by RMT reps to reach a negotiated settlement to this dispute the vital safety role of the guard is still under threat and the extension of DOO (Driver Only Operation) remains a serious risk.
“Nothing that the company has put forward in recent talks resolved this fundamental issue.
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“RMT Reps across the company have made it clear that the fight for a safe and accessible railway for all continues and that the members remain rock solid and united in securing that objective. We have seen in the past two weeks what happens when guards are taken off our trains with the scandal of denying disabled passengers equality and access on Southern Rail.
“As a result of the company’s attitude the union’s National Executive Committee has had no option but to instruct our Greater Anglia conductor and senior conductor members to take a further two days of industrial action.
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“The responsibility for this action lays with the Dutch-owned Abellio outfit who have a solution to this dispute staring them in the face.
“Once again, I would like to congratulate our members for their continuous show of strength and solidarity throughout this long dispute which is solely about putting rail safety before private profit.
“The union also thanks the travelling public for their support and understanding throughout our campaign to put safety and access to services for everyone using our railways right at the top of the agenda.
“RMT remains available for genuine and meaningful talks with the company.”
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We are very disappointed that the RMT has called two further strikes. “We’d like to reassure customers that we plan to run a full service using our contingency conductors should the strikes go ahead.
“In recent weeks, we have continued to hold constructive talks with RMT union officials and we hoped to resolve the dispute through these talks.
“We continue to guarantee the role of our highly valued conductors on our trains.
“We’re keeping them on our trains, but we want them to concentrate on customer service rather than opening and closing doors.”