RMT DOO Dispute on West Midlands Trains

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by footprints, 20 Sep 2019.

  1. CHAPS2034

    CHAPS2034 Member

    Messages:
    288
    Joined:
    13 Mar 2018
    I get the impression that some in the hierarchy of the RMT would rather have a strike than sit down and talk sensibly like other unions seem to do.
     
  2. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

    Messages:
    2,534
    Joined:
    25 Oct 2012
    Thatv would suggest you spend too long believing what you read in the media, or indeed on this very forum. The RMT "sit down and talk sensibly" all the time - the vast majority of such times ending in an amicable compromise and no need for further action. But you don't get to hear about these.
     
  3. CHAPS2034

    CHAPS2034 Member

    Messages:
    288
    Joined:
    13 Mar 2018
    Please note that I did say some in the hierarchy, not all. And I also read the RMT press releases which inevitably end up in the media...
     
  4. Xenophon PCDGS

    Xenophon PCDGS Veteran Member

    Messages:
    26,287
    Joined:
    17 Apr 2011
    Location:
    A semi-rural part of north-west England
    Perhaps the current Government have been pleased with the RMT strike decision, especially as a General Election was in the offing and some ministers could have used this in their media interviews to blame the Corbyn administration in terms of "socialism".
     
  5. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,215
    Joined:
    14 Feb 2010
    I should think they're delighted, especially as it's going to stuff up people's Christmas shopping trips.
     
  6. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,215
    Joined:
    14 Feb 2010
    I certainly believe, and in fact know, that local reps do, and where there's good management they respond in kind.

    However, I'm not so sure at a national executive level. They're a bunch of headbangers who want nothing less than a socialist revolution.
     
  7. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

    Messages:
    3,130
    Joined:
    26 Aug 2012
    The RMT have likley taken a calculated risk the tories decide there’s insufficient political advantage in facing down these strikes during an election campaign.
     
    Last edited: 4 Nov 2019
  8. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    48,457
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    They'll just go Sunday instead (or drive, or go on the bus). Now both days really would throw the cat among the pigeons.
     
  9. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

    Messages:
    6,124
    Joined:
    22 Sep 2013
    If we get another Conservative government after the General Election, it will only give them even more ammunition to bash the Unions and have a further look at legislation. Not sure that's going to be of advantage to the RMT.
     
  10. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

    Messages:
    2,801
    Joined:
    26 Sep 2011
    Are Sundays inside or outside the working week?
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    48,457
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    Outside, but Saturday strikes very often result in an increase in Sunday volunteering, as that way they avoid losing any money, particularly at the expensive time that is the run-up to Christmas.
     
  12. Silverlinky

    Silverlinky Member

    Messages:
    301
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2012
    However, there are only so many Sunday jobs......and if those with booked Sundays don't throw them in as they are losing money on Saturdays there will be less open turns than usual to volunteer for anyway.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    48,457
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    True. My point was more that disruption to Sundays should reduce because the crews who can get them will want the money.
     
  14. RealTrains07

    RealTrains07 On Moderation

    Messages:
    1,439
    Joined:
    28 Feb 2019
    Even though workers have a choice whether or not to strike
     
  15. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member Associate Staff Events Co-ordinator

    Messages:
    14,128
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    This theory was much thought of at Northern but they were still and are still short on Sundays. WMT are not Northern, but empirical evidence to support this theory isn't good.

    Furthermore, overtime bans are common when a dispute is announced. Is there not any work to rule in place on WMT?
     
  16. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member Associate Staff Events Co-ordinator

    Messages:
    14,128
    Joined:
    18 May 2012
    Location:
    Manchester
    I'm not 100% sure what you're getting at here? For clarity, if a trade union calls a legitimately mandated strike:

    - There is no formal obligation to go on strike, if you're a member of the trade union

    - You can't be treated differently for going on strike anyway if you're not a member of the trade union

    Outside of the railway industry, the main roles of trade unions have nothing to do with industrial action: although there is usually a theoretical right to take it. They are mainly personel (legal advice, consultations and rule changes, establishment of HR procedures, employee relations, commercial negotiations etc), political campaigning (chiefly through affiliation with the Labour Party), or work done at the Trades Union Congress. Some Unions have sold their legal rights to take strike action, or have a policy not to undertake any.
     
    Last edited: 5 Nov 2019
  17. OxtedSignaller

    OxtedSignaller Member

    Messages:
    353
    Joined:
    31 Jul 2010
    We all know the reason the RMT firstly like a good strike and secondly want to control the doors, and keep the status quo. So they are able to cause maximum disruption when in dispute.

    I cannot think of many other industries outside the railway where despite having guarantees and assurances that members will retain their jobs, pay, pensions and terms and conditions they are so opposed to any changes to working practices or modernisation by the employer. Surely that is the number one priority.
     
  18. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    48,457
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    In practice they don't. They will be seriously looked down upon if they don't strike or express a view in favour of the proposed changes.
     
  19. theironroad

    theironroad Established Member

    Messages:
    2,796
    Joined:
    21 Nov 2014
    Location:
    London
    I don't know how long you have been a signaller, but your antipathy that you regularly show to other frontline railway colleagues is staggering. Clearly your experience of companies and managers adhering to assurances and guarantees is far better than many others on the railway.
     
  20. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

    Messages:
    3,130
    Joined:
    26 Aug 2012
    Which TOC has attempted to introduce a major change like DCO without initially at least trying to fully consult with & seek an agreement from, the unions.?

    In an individual situation , there appears at times unfortunately to be an element of how well ones face fits reflected in the outcome, even in a highly unionised industry such as the railway ,
     
    Last edited: 5 Nov 2019
  21. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

    Messages:
    2,801
    Joined:
    26 Sep 2011
    A lot of conclusions seem to have been jumped to. It's not surprising a union wants to retain the status quo, as that will usually act as some guarantee for job retention and future requirement for the role long into the future. Which is what a union is there for and what the members would usually hope for. As would anyone in a job they enjoy.
    I could imagine there would be heavy reluctance in accepting some sort of agreement where, as a pure example, onboard staff remain considered safety critical and yet full dispatch responsibilities go to the driver. I have no idea whether this is the sort of thing being proposed here is, but a scenario like that, as far as the railway rulebook is concerned, is considered DO in the rulebook for dispatch, and the rulebook is what the whole railway works to across all operators in Britain.

    Assurances would be one thing, bit how far do assurances stretch regards future franchises or management contracts? Do the RMT aim towards keeping current arrangements where a guard has safety responsibilities which must be carried out for the train to run, or give those to the driver and accept a reassurance that onboard staff will still be needed within a franchise?

    Surely they would have to seek agreement from unions in some form, where a union is recognised? They would probably be breaking all sorts of agreement if they just brought it in and said off you go? I think that is simply the processes which have to be followed?

    Also don't forget most drivers across the industry are in the aslef union. They would have to be consulted in the aim of agreement.
    Is it known whether drivers actually want or are willing to accept full responsibility for dispatch?
    Many seem to have passed that consideration by.
     
  22. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

    Messages:
    4,835
    Joined:
    30 Jan 2013
    I can see that working practices are to be changed here. However, perhaps I have misunderstood, but the only potential change in working practices on a new DOO-fitted train are essentially those of the driver. For a guard, he is simply absolved from doing what he used to do and has potentially an easier life, unless previously he was not expected to look after pax and do RPI, and now is expected to do that. For those guards who have never done the customer service job and don't wish to, they would be essentially just being carried around in a DOO train to do nothing.

    Thus I could imagine a far greater risk of dispute with the drivers but, so far, in all the disputes, it has never come to that. It's always the guards.
     
  23. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

    Messages:
    2,801
    Joined:
    26 Sep 2011
    Obviously we wouldn't know if there were any proposals as regards to whether onboard staff would still be PTS certified, trained in emergency protection, or trained in evacuation, or to dispatch the train if a camera fails. Now all those things many would argue make a guard even more worth having. Now if potentially those were taken away, again no idea whether that would happen, but essentially then you could be left with only a written assurance that a guard would be required onboard for however long agreed.

    What would happen if a franchise were taken back to the operator of last resort, or changed hands, I have no idea. Whether the existing guarantees would stand?
    Certainly if a new franchise had ideas about the second member of staff being only required if available, it might be easier to get to that from a position where they no longer have safety responsibilities or responsibilities for dispatch when a franchise changes over.

    That said, if existing arrangements were retained on a new fleet, you have a necessity that the safety critical member of staff must be onboard, and it would be more difficult to remove safety responsibilities from onboard staff during a following franchise than it would be if they had no safety duties say on the next franchise changeover. You could have an incoming TOC arguing that a lack of available onboard staff shouldn't prevent a train from running because they have no safety responsibilities.
     
  24. the sniper

    the sniper Established Member

    Messages:
    2,207
    Joined:
    4 Sep 2007
    I find it staggering that, after all these years on here, the same usual suspects still have absolute faith in the provision of the 'second person' beyond the short term/current franchise time periods.

    Ironically the people who I imagine you're thinking of are the ones who have been happily chatting away with WMT since May 2018.
     
    Last edited: 24 Nov 2019
  25. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    48,457
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    (Edited as I confused this with the SWR thread)

    I suspect that the issue is twofold:-
    1. Lazy guards won't have an excuse for not doing revenue - and there are a lot of lazy guards on the south WCML.
    2. There is a risk that without the door control the guards could be got rid of later more easily, e.g. in the next franchise.
     
  26. Undiscovered

    Undiscovered Member

    Messages:
    106
    Joined:
    28 Jan 2013
    Exactly this.
    You're not doing the doors, so you don't need all that safety critical training or station knowledge. With all the GSMR & GPS technology, do you need to be there at all?
    Can we run a train without you? Do we really need such stringent criteria for on board traincrew? Do we need to be paying them so much?

    And managers? If your staff aren't safety critical, then you don't need to be either. So we can reduce your wage. And without the need to check your staff are working correctly, to the rulebook, your workload is less, so you can manage more folks. So we can get rid of a manager here and there...

    And now we're not having safety critical frontline staff or managers, we don't need so many highly qualified people in our training academy. Maybe we could outsource, now it's just generic customer service and 'checkout' duties?

    I may be being overly dramatic, but it's a reasonable conclusion to draw.
     
  27. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

    Messages:
    3,130
    Joined:
    26 Aug 2012
    Or maybe their role amounted to little more than messengers for the NEC to issue ultimatums to WMT to either conform or face strike ballots
     
    Last edited: 6 Nov 2019
  28. OxtedSignaller

    OxtedSignaller Member

    Messages:
    353
    Joined:
    31 Jul 2010
    Yes but there is much more to a Guards role than simply train dispatch. They check and retail tickets, assist passengers on and off the trains, reset and investigate alarms and other fault finding, make announcements, customer service... the list goes on...

    The way some people go on you would think all they did was open and close electric sliding doors. A compromise can be worked out. On Greater Anglia they have Guards however eventually will not operate the doors. When other TOCs have offered that suddenly the RMT has changed their mind. Seems to be no steadfast position.
     
  29. Pumbaa

    Pumbaa Established Member

    Messages:
    4,891
    Joined:
    19 Feb 2008

    Except on WMT, that isn’t the case. Doing any kind of service or tickets is treated as distinctly optional, alarm resets on 350s is Driver responsibility, they don’t even touch toilet reset, announcements are strictly limited to pointlessly regurgitating the PIS, and it is unusual to see anyone out of a cab.

    Yes there a few excellent Conductors on the route. But sadly unlike many other TOCs where there are a few terrible ones hidden amongst the generally good population of traincrew, at WMT it is distinctly the other way round. Honourable mention goes to Crewe depot who I have never had anything but positive experiences of.
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

    Messages:
    48,457
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2014
    Location:
    Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
    In my observation it's south of Northampton where there's an issue primarily - and it is a fairly big issue - there are maybe a handful of guards you see doing revenue, and you recognise them - the rest hide in the cab. And one of those handful (who I know personally) is no longer a guard due to medical reasons and is now station staff, so now there are even fewer.

    I do wonder if to some extent that's cultural as in the SE guards in the past didn't do tickets, whereas in the North they always did and tend to be very particular about squashing it in even between close together stations. You have something similar with London buses, where drivers tend to just grunt at any attempt at a question and ignore any matter of revenue, whereas elsewhere in the country they do speak to you even if it's to say they don't know, and they very much do pay attention to tickets.
     

Share This Page