Guards during strikes

CC 72100

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Agreed, they shouldn’t throw stones in glass houses, all of the alleged incidents are something that happen Day in day out, but, that’s a lot of incidents for one day.
I've never known leaving the panel early and not watching the train leave the platform fully be reported as an 'incident' - bad practice absolutely and something to be picked upon and corrected during an assessment for sure but not an incident in the way the RMT suggests there.

If everytime a Guard closed their panel early and didn't watch their train fully out it was reported as such by the RMT then the ORR will be needing a bigger letterbox!
 
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tsr

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Between the parallel lines
I've never known leaving the panel early and not watching the train leave the platform fully be reported as an 'incident' - bad practice absolutely and something to be picked upon and corrected during an assessment for sure but not an incident in the way the RMT suggests there.

If everytime a Guard closed their panel early and didn't watch their train fully out it was reported as such by the RMT then the ORR will be needing a bigger letterbox!
One suggests their letterbox should be bigger. Keeping a good lookout is a Rule Book requirement - and believe it or not, I have it on excellent authority that the frequent practice of guards not doing so was one of the justifications the DfT forced upon Southern’s management when they were dragging their heels about changing more 377 dispatch to DOO.
 

Moonshot

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Don't know - it will be in the employment handbook. I would be astounded if there wasn't one!
Right ......so you dont know the process yourself, and are also critical of managers who in your opinon dont know it. At my TOC, all the Conductor Team Managers are ex guards, and there have been a number of instances where staff have been taken off trains for various transgressions over the last 2 or 3 years.....indeed 1 was sacked.
 

DarloRich

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Right ......so you dont know the process yourself, and are also critical of managers who in your opinon dont know it. At my TOC, all the Conductor Team Managers are ex guards, and there have been a number of instances where staff have been taken off trains for various transgressions over the last 2 or 3 years.....indeed 1 was sacked.
I don't know the process for your employer, clearly, as i don't work with you! I know the process for my employer and in all other businesses in which I have worked. I am extrapolating what I have encountered acting as both a manager and a union rep and from reading many tribunal judgments. What causes any performance/discipline process to fail is when it is not operated correctly.
 

Moonshot

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I don't know the process for your employer, clearly, as i don't work with you! I know the process for my employer and in all other businesses in which I have worked. I am extrapolating what I have encountered acting as both a manager and a union rep and from reading many tribunal judgments. What causes any performance/discipline process to fail is when it is not operated correctly.
ok ...but in any event, it was mentioned earlier on that there are a number of guards generally who dont do the profession any favours by hiding in the back cab for example. This happens at all TOCs including mine, and are a source of frustration to the majority of staff who carry out the tasks associated with the role just like they should be doing.
 

CC 72100

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One suggests their letterbox should be bigger. Keeping a good lookout is a Rule Book requirement - and believe it or not, I have it on excellent authority that the frequent practice of guards not doing so was one of the justifications the DfT forced upon Southern’s management when they were dragging their heels about changing more 377 dispatch to DOO.
Wow - talk about own goal - It's 45 seconds to clear a station, probably not even that on quick accelerating EMUs like electrostars
 

Monty

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Very detailed.

Looking forward to the RMT press releases of their own members' cockups in future.
One would argue it's neither their place or should have too. Anyone who works for a TOC as train crew will know the company will regularly show operation incidents on notice boards and in internal e-mails reminding us to be vigilant. There are even flow charts and tables showing each incident at our booking on point.
 

AlterEgo

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One would argue it's neither their place or should have too. Anyone who works for a TOC as train crew will know the company will regularly show operation incidents on notice boards and in internal e-mails reminding us to be vigilant. There are even flow charts and tables showing each incident at our booking on point.
That was sort of what I was getting at. Any of us who have been anywhere remotely near operations know that this kind of thing happens all the time (though I'll concede that many allegations on a single day is a bit high!). I'm not sure the RMT are doing the industry a favour by highlighting all the things that can, and do go wrong.
 

Moonshot

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One would argue it's neither their place or should have too. Anyone who works for a TOC as train crew will know the company will regularly show operation incidents on notice boards and in internal e-mails reminding us to be vigilant. There are even flow charts and tables showing each incident at our booking on point.
Indeed there is.......so I would argue that the RMT have been very selective in there letter to the ORR
 

Moonshot

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That was sort of what I was getting at. Any of us who have been anywhere remotely near operations know that this kind of thing happens all the time (though I'll concede that many allegations on a single day is a bit high!). I'm not sure the RMT are doing the industry a favour by highlighting all the things that can, and do go wrong.
There is a lot of truth in that ....
 

Wilts Wanderer

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313103 - Can I suggest you look up the definition of 'democratic'. Just because a majority have voted for something does not mean that the remaining minority must fall in line. That results in a totalitarian regime which is anything but democratic. Having an active opposition is a healthy aspect of democracy, as it has a tendency to keep the ruling majority honest, something the railway unions aren't exactly known for currently. Using terms like 'scab army' doesn't help either.
 

pompeyfan

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I personally know a lot of full time guards at SW that came in for the strike, some are in the RMT union, some were in the RMT union but defected across to ATCU, and others were in either ASLEF, ATCU or no union at all. Are all these people scabs?

If the rumblings are true and a 4/5 day strike is called in January, a lot more people will be crossing the picket line... are they scabs?

Maybe people are naive to actually believe the DfT/SW/SN propaganda. Some people can’t be bothered with the fight, some people don’t want to lose 6/7 days wages within 3 pay packets.

The majority of RMT members that I know at SW were dismayed when strike action was called, the higher proportion of the bid was for action short, that’s where the RMT should have started, but no they went gung ho into battle trying to bring the country to a halt. Why? Their actions in reporting some of the more trivial things to the ORR will have management watching their members backs like hawks, they’re meant to protect their workforce, not paint a giant **** off target on their back....

I have the upmost respect for Southern Conductors who fought a good fight, but when you’re up against the government, you’re eventually going to lose. A Southern style deal will exist across the country until the next franchises start being let, and after that, who knows?
 

AlterEgo

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Remind me again how the RMT caved in at London Overground, and how they have failed to achieve anything other than big financial losses for the guards at Southern. There's nothing wrong with taking a stand against your employer but the RMT, particularly since Bob Crow's passing, has become a losing horse with the wrong strategy almost every time. I'm sorry that you were made redundant at London Overground but similarly the SWR 'metro' network is ideal for conversion to DOO. I could see this coming years ago which is why I got out of doing endless Hounslow loops etc and headed to a depot with a more secure future. I've been made redundant twice already on the railway but I have adapted to whatever change has been required to keep me in good employment in the industry and the slow creep of DOO is just another challenge to overcome, but I won't be relying on the RMT to do that for me.
Well said.

Whatever you think of him as a person or his politics, Bob Crow was a superb negotiator. He had people skills and could very well see the management side. His strategy was often to horizon-scan for issues and proactively meet directors discreetly for lunch and a pint and find some common ground before a dispute formally began. He was quite happy to play that game of business lunches simply because it led to better outcomes for his members.

The new order at the RMT are just as militant as Bob was but without any of the soft skills or awareness of the media landscape. They’re choosing the wrong tactics at every turn.

Even Bob Crow would be able to see how DOO will play out eventually. The SWR suburbans are ripe for eventual DOO-isation and the objective surely is to ensure no staff member is unduly inconvenienced. Whether that’s offering or signposting training to roles outside the industry, negotiating favourable redeployment, negotiating training for roles within the industry, negotiating favourable voluntary redundancies or whatever. I doubt the current strategy of bellowing about safety is going to be successful no matter how right or wrong the argument is.
 

DarloRich

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Whatever you think of him as a person or his politics, Bob Crow was a superb negotiator. He had people skills and could very well see the management side. His strategy was often to horizon-scan for issues and proactively meet directors discreetly for lunch and a pint and find some common ground before a dispute formally began. He was quite happy to play that game of business lunches simply because it led to better outcomes for his members.

The new order at the RMT are just as militant as Bob was but without any of the soft skills or awareness of the media landscape. They’re choosing the wrong tactics at every turn
Entirely correct and gets to the heart of the problems with RMT at present.
 

pete_m911

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A 4 to 5 day strike? Where did you hear that? Personally I can’t see anyone wanting that so soon after Christmas, what with paypackets and all.
 

Moonshot

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Having just read the last few posts , it seems clear to me that the rank and file membership ( of which I am one ) is increasingly concerned at the tone of the arguement that the RMT executive are setting. This is also reflected in my own depot, and it seems to me that calling for strike action is simply leading to conductors losing pay when they need not to. If we recognise the fact that our own role needs to change to fit in with the vision for a 21st century railway, then we shouldnt be on strike at all, and our efforts should go into fitting in with that vision, the number 1 beneficiary ( if you took a holistic view ) being the passenger.
 

theironroad

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Having just read the last few posts , it seems clear to me that the rank and file membership ( of which I am one ) is increasingly concerned at the tone of the arguement that the RMT executive are setting. This is also reflected in my own depot, and it seems to me that calling for strike action is simply leading to conductors losing pay when they need not to. If we recognise the fact that our own role needs to change to fit in with the vision for a 21st century railway, then we shouldnt be on strike at all, and our efforts should go into fitting in with that vision, the number 1 beneficiary ( if you took a holistic view ) being the passenger.
As long as youre happy that the vision for a 21C railway includes all metro trains not having a conductor, just like London Overground, underground , Strathclyde electrics and Thameslink. Longer distance services may have an optionally required customer service rep on board. The 21C vision you envisage sees a drastic reduction in the number of guards/conductors etc.

Some people see this vision and are prepared to defend their own job and that these jobs will still be available for future occupants of the role.
 

Moonshot

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As long as youre happy that the vision for a 21C railway includes all metro trains not having a conductor, just like London Overground, underground , Strathclyde electrics and Thameslink. Longer distance services may have an optionally required customer service rep on board. The 21C vision you envisage sees a drastic reduction in the number of guards/conductors etc.

Some people see this vision and are prepared to defend their own job and that these jobs will still be available for future occupants of the role.

The 21c vision also sees an increasing number of services on the network.....services which require drivers as an example. Back in 1983/4 there was a miners strike for pretty much the same reasons. Roll the clock forward to today and Electrical Power Generation is now dominated by renewable sources which dont impact on the enviroment.
 

theironroad

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I personally know a lot of full time guards at SW that came in for the strike, some are in the RMT union, some were in the RMT union but defected across to ATCU, and others were in either ASLEF, ATCU or no union at all. Are all these people scabs?

If the rumblings are true and a 4/5 day strike is called in January, a lot more people will be crossing the picket line... are they scabs?

Maybe people are naive to actually believe the DfT/SW/SN propaganda. Some people can’t be bothered with the fight, some people don’t want to lose 6/7 days wages within 3 pay packets.

The majority of RMT members that I know at SW were dismayed when strike action was called, the higher proportion of the bid was for action short, that’s where the RMT should have started, but no they went gung ho into battle trying to bring the country to a halt. Why? Their actions in reporting some of the more trivial things to the ORR will have management watching their members backs like hawks, they’re meant to protect their workforce, not paint a giant **** off target on their back....

I have the upmost respect for Southern Conductors who fought a good fight, but when you’re up against the government, you’re eventually going to lose. A Southern style deal will exist across the country until the next franchises start being let, and after that, who knows?
Scab is an emotive word, but guards who came in last week were wrong in my opinion.

This industrial action was called by a fully democratic ballot which met all the turnout and acceptance requirements of the government's new anti strike laws and the proper notice was given to the emloyer.The ballot was legal and the industrial action that followed was legal industrial action which affords employment protection rights under 'protected' industrial action rules. If you're a guard employed by swr the rmt and swr dispute covers you. It doesn't matter whether you're a member of the rmt or not or any other union or non union, protected industrial rights cover all members in the grade involved with that employer.

Whether action short of a strike should have been a first option is an internal matter for the RMT (who are the recognised union for guards collective bargaining at swr) and it's branches. Talking in the mess room is one thing but everyone should voice their concerns formally to their reps, at branch meetings, to RMT officials. Yes, there is a local and a national picture here which the rmt are trying to achieve to secure the grade nationally. There is certainly room for debate about when it's the right time to take action, and talk of a 4/5 day action in January isn't going to go down too well.

However, whether guards like it or not, and regardless of their union status, the rmt are responsible for guards collective bargaining on SWR and as such guards who are happy to take rmt negotiated pay rises and protection of terms and conditions should also abide by lawful calls for industrial action.

I didn't vote for this government and far less for a small minority party to prop up the government, many of whose polices I abhor. Whether I like it or not, they are a lawfully constituted government and I have to adhere to their laws. if a government puts income tax up to 90% I don't have a option whether to pay or if those taxes are used to maintain nuclear weapons and fight wars we shouldn't be involved in.

On a second note, I struggle to understand the mindset of someone who thinks it's ok to cross a picket line and take a day's pay when their colleagues are going without pay. In my book it's morally unconscionable. At my depot, the few who came in were older with no dependents and walked by their young colleagues who have young families and are probably less able to afford to take a loss of pay, but realise the importance of the sacrifice they are making.
 

theironroad

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The 21c vision also sees an increasing number of services on the network.....services which require drivers as an example. Back in 1983/4 there was a miners strike for pretty much the same reasons. Roll the clock forward to today and Electrical Power Generation is now dominated by renewable sources which dont impact on the enviroment.
If this vision goes through, far more guards roles are going to disappear than drivers for new services.

Well, maybe in 50 years time the railways will all have been dug up and we'll all be flying around in personal electric pods direct from our front door to our final destination.
 

Moonshot

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Scab is an emotive word, but guards who came in last week were wrong in my opinion.

This industrial action was called by a fully democratic ballot which met all the turnout and acceptance requirements of the government's new anti strike laws and the proper notice was given to the emloyer.The ballot was legal and the industrial action that followed was legal industrial action which affords employment protection rights under 'protected' industrial action rules. If you're a guard employed by swr the rmt and swr dispute covers you. It doesn't matter whether you're a member of the rmt or not or any other union or non union, protected industrial rights cover all members in the grade involved with that employer.

Whether action short of a strike should have been a first option is an internal matter for the RMT (who are the recognised union for guards collective bargaining at swr) and it's branches. Talking in the mess room is one thing but everyone should voice their concerns formally to their reps, at branch meetings, to RMT officials. Yes, there is a local and a national picture here which the rmt are trying to achieve to secure the grade nationally. There is certainly room for debate about when it's the right time to take action, and talk of a 4/5 day action in January isn't going to go down too well.

However, whether guards like it or not, and regardless of their union status, the rmt are responsible for guards collective bargaining on SWR and as such guards who are happy to take rmt negotiated pay rises and protection of terms and conditions should also abide by lawful calls for industrial action.

I didn't vote for this government and far less for a small minority party to prop up the government, many of whose polices I abhor. Whether I like it or not, they are a lawfully constituted government and I have to adhere to their laws. if a government puts income tax up to 90% I don't have a option whether to pay or if those taxes are used to maintain nuclear weapons and fight wars we shouldn't be involved in.

On a second note, I struggle to understand the mindset of someone who thinks it's ok to cross a picket line and take a day's pay when their colleagues are going without pay. In my book it's morally unconscionable. At my depot, the few who came in were older with no dependents and walked by their young colleagues who have young families and are probably less able to afford to take a loss of pay, but realise the importance of the sacrifice they are making.
Just out of interest, if a non striking guard who was sat spare offered to cover the last hour of your diagram so as you could get away early, would you accept ?
 

Moonshot

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I wouldn’t bother trying to explain yourself, I did and it got me nowhere with the exception that has been homed in on my use of the word scab. People are not interested in your plight but will take offence at you using an emotive word, I wonder if any of the commentators even read through all my post or just picked up on the word scab and it upset them.
I think the problem is that generally Unions are seen as a political outfit detemined to cause chaos in everyday life....a lot of people still have memories of the winter of discontent etc. Thats just a viewpoint from the outside
 

pompeyfan

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Scab is an emotive word, but guards who came in last week were wrong in my opinion.

This industrial action was called by a fully democratic ballot which met all the turnout and acceptance requirements of the government's new anti strike laws and the proper notice was given to the emloyer.The ballot was legal and the industrial action that followed was legal industrial action which affords employment protection rights under 'protected' industrial action rules. If you're a guard employed by swr the rmt and swr dispute covers you. It doesn't matter whether you're a member of the rmt or not or any other union or non union, protected industrial rights cover all members in the grade involved with that employer.

Whether action short of a strike should have been a first option is an internal matter for the RMT (who are the recognised union for guards collective bargaining at swr) and it's branches. Talking in the mess room is one thing but everyone should voice their concerns formally to their reps, at branch meetings, to RMT officials. Yes, there is a local and a national picture here which the rmt are trying to achieve to secure the grade nationally. There is certainly room for debate about when it's the right time to take action, and talk of a 4/5 day action in January isn't going to go down too well.

However, whether guards like it or not, and regardless of their union status, the rmt are responsible for guards collective bargaining on SWR and as such guards who are happy to take rmt negotiated pay rises and protection of terms and conditions should also abide by lawful calls for industrial action.

I didn't vote for this government and far less for a small minority party to prop up the government, many of whose polices I abhor. Whether I like it or not, they are a lawfully constituted government and I have to adhere to their laws. if a government puts income tax up to 90% I don't have a option whether to pay or if those taxes are used to maintain nuclear weapons and fight wars we shouldn't be involved in.

On a second note, I struggle to understand the mindset of someone who thinks it's ok to cross a picket line and take a day's pay when their colleagues are going without pay. In my book it's morally unconscionable. At my depot, the few who came in were older with no dependents and walked by their young colleagues who have young families and are probably less able to afford to take a loss of pay, but realise the importance of the sacrifice they are making.
Believe me I understand where you’re coming from, however, you can’t expect people not in the union to take part in action that they had no input into. Using your anology that’s like opening up a general election to only half the populace and then expecting everyone to adhere. Worth also pointing out that the union reps usually only listen to its members, not people who aren’t in the union who have similar concerns.
 
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Robertj21a

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Well said.

Whatever you think of him as a person or his politics, Bob Crow was a superb negotiator. He had people skills and could very well see the management side. His strategy was often to horizon-scan for issues and proactively meet directors discreetly for lunch and a pint and find some common ground before a dispute formally began. He was quite happy to play that game of business lunches simply because it led to better outcomes for his members.

The new order at the RMT are just as militant as Bob was but without any of the soft skills or awareness of the media landscape. They’re choosing the wrong tactics at every turn.

Even Bob Crow would be able to see how DOO will play out eventually. The SWR suburbans are ripe for eventual DOO-isation and the objective surely is to ensure no staff member is unduly inconvenienced. Whether that’s offering or signposting training to roles outside the industry, negotiating favourable redeployment, negotiating training for roles within the industry, negotiating favourable voluntary redundancies or whatever. I doubt the current strategy of bellowing about safety is going to be successful no matter how right or wrong the argument is.
.
Good summary. Well explained.
.
 

al78

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The 21c vision also sees an increasing number of services on the network.....services which require drivers as an example. Back in 1983/4 there was a miners strike for pretty much the same reasons. Roll the clock forward to today and Electrical Power Generation is now dominated by renewable sources which dont impact on the enviroment.
Not true, UK power generation is not even close to being dominated by renewables. Renewables supply about a quarter of the electricity, coal and gas make up just over half, with nuclear and other fuels supplying the remainder.
 

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