RMT DOO Dispute on West Midlands Trains

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

  1. Silverlinky

    Silverlinky Member

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    Back in "old 321 days" when guards used to have to get to the back cab all the time to operate the doors you could understand why they didn't come out as often. But now, with intermediate door panels in each coach there really is no excuse for not coming out, showing your face, taking a bit of revenue, earning a bit of commission...….
     
  2. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    Yes, if these guards on WMT will get away with not doing customer service after DOO is implemented, then what you conclude would happen, I imagine, on change of franchise. Whether what you estimate would happen to managers would take place could perhaps be estimated by comparing establishments of WMT with those at TOCs where DOO has already been in operation for decades and there are no guards on trains.
    As an outsider, having read the last sentence, I have to pinch myself to believe that anyone is expected to believe that guards are a necessity under DOO, any more than second men were needed after dieselisation, yet young men were carted around on diesel engines for years, in BR days, and were paid for doing so. Astonishing in retrospect.
     
  3. flitwickbeds

    flitwickbeds Member

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    As my TOC is Thameslink and I've never known any different to their DOO operation, I do find it scary that one single person is in charge of 12 carriages (peak capacity during disruption of 1500+ people?).

    I've experienced a situation where someone was smoking in the rear carriage so the driver had to stop, walk the entire length of the car to check out the fire alarm, reset it and then carry on driving. That is a very basic thing to do, albeit potentially life threatening. What if there was a genuine fire in the first carriage and the driver couldn't actually get out of their carriage<>cab door, so could only exit externally and therefore not be in a position to be of any assistance whatsoever to passengers?

    What would have happened if the fatal stabbing a few years ago had been on a Thameslink train instead?

    What happens in the event of, say, a hijacking? Or a driver losing consciousness?

    I think it's a fundamental safety aspect to have more than one person on board a train at all times - especially one the size of a Thameslink one.
     
  4. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    Whilst very anti RMT on the doors issue I also think there should be another member of staff on packed 12 coach trains, particularly in 3rd rail country. To have a thousand people relying on one bod who sits in the most likely place to get smashed up doesnt seem sensible.
    Let the driver drive (including doors) and the OBS take care of the punters.
    I don’t think the public bother about the marginal safety stuff, but they do want the security and information from a bod in uniform wandering up and down the train.
     
  5. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Amazing that all these thousands of commuters haven't raised the issue during the many decades of such DOO working.........
     
  6. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    And the fact it works on a bus and they got rid of bus conductors I think makes things worse. The fundamental difference being that a bus driver is basically within the same carriage in a bus as all their passengers, and has a glass screen to see and hear passengers and possibly CCTV. The driver can be approached in emergency at anytime on a bus. A train with just a driver with some sort of emergency onboard is a really scary thought imo, and one I don't think the majority of passengers would wish for if given the choice.

    I should imagine the public definitely want a second member of staff onboard as you say. But, as others have pointed out, removing their safety responsibilities from them moves one step closer to the situation where you can run without them altogether. And the arguement that that wouldn't happen isn't much use when it has happened elsewhere on the rail network where it's just as undesirable.

    How do people know they haven't? Or do vulnerable people just avoid traveling at night where it is known there isn't or may not be anyone onboard other than a driver? My parents certainly wouldn't travel at night on a DOO service.
     
  7. Silverlinky

    Silverlinky Member

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    But they'd feel so much happier travelling on a 12 car service where the guard was in the back cab, never came out and wouldn't walk through the train because he/she didn't feel safe?

    A lot of mind games going on here.......the quote above saying that 1500 passengers and 1 member of staff is so much worse than 1500 passengers and 2 members of staff?

    How about to cover the security/feeling safe argument the TOC makes all conductors redundant, saves £15m a year (£30k per guard x 500 of them) and instead puts three security guards on each train at a cost of a tenner an hour each......Surely the passengers would feel safer then?

    Ooops....now we're back to talking about what the union fear........no guards!

    Just for clarity I believe that there should always be (at least) two people on the train......but i'm not convinced of the need for the guards to operate the doors....which is what this whole dispute is about at the end of the day.
     
  8. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    I'll be interested to hear how the general public know whether a train is DOO or not. Many trains have a guard that the passengers will never see. I don't hear them panicking over whether or not he might be in coach 4, 7, 10 - or indeed not on board at all. Although I take a general interest in train travel I couldn't readily say whether some random line across England is DOO or not - the general public probably know even less.
     
  9. scrapy

    scrapy Established Member

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    The provision of a guard probably isn't important to the majority, but to certain vulnerable people it is imperative.

    In the same way provision of mental health services isn't important to the majority of the population but vital to those who need the support. Should we do away with them because 90% of people don't use them?
     
  10. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    I think a lot of people who are regular travelers on the Fen Line to Kings Lynn for example would know that there are no conductors.
     
  11. the sniper

    the sniper Established Member

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    If only you knew...

    Given this statement, which is completely untrue, I'm highly dubious about the rest of your observations.
     
  12. setdown

    setdown Member

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    Well I can’t talk for the toilet reset, but the three occasions on London Midland/LNR I’ve seen the alarms by the doors activated, the driver has come out to reset them. Maybe it’s just down to who is closest to the alarm that’s activated?
     
  13. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    There's no need to try a deflection into other issues.
    I totally agree that it may be important to vulnerable people - how do they check in advance when travelling further afield ?
     
  14. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    We do know that about a year ago a number of guards & other staff from TOCs involved in DCO disputes claimed on this very forum that offers they’d received from SWR & WMR whilst not perfect, were broadly acceptable & deals probably imminent with just a little more dialogue , so how democratic was the unions subsequent decision simply to tear these up & resume strike action.
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2019
  15. the sniper

    the sniper Established Member

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    There are Guards who have continued to involve themselves in sorting out the inter-unit gangway doors, even though ASLEF took that responsibility as part of a pay deal a couple of years ago. All sorts goes on...
     
    Last edited: 7 Nov 2019
  16. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    That's the same in any workplace though. You knuckle in and sort things out to make life easier - the gangway doors will still form part of a guard's training for shutting off parts of trains if required so they might choose to assist their colleagues on a day to day basis.

    If I'm working with a driver and they have to do an attachment (not unusual at various locations without shunt drivers) it's my job to lock the doors on the train but I'll still sort out the corridor connection etc as well as it gets the job done faster for both of us.

    On a day to day basis I don't really pay any regard to inter union politics.
     
  17. the sniper

    the sniper Established Member

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    The point being, appearances can be deceptive, particularly to casual observers. If you see a Guard doing the inter-unit gangway doors on WMT, it doesn't mean that is their responsibility. If you see a Driver resetting a Passcom, it doesn't mean that is their responsibility. As you'll know, all sorts goes on.
     
  18. LowLevel

    LowLevel Established Member

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    Very true.
     
  19. Sprinter107

    Sprinter107 Member

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    This is true. If I'm working 2 non gangwayed sets, and the guard is in the rear set, and the pass comm is activated, then I'll go and reset, even tho it isnt my responsibility to do it. We are a train crew. We help each other.
     
  20. Merle Haggard

    Merle Haggard Member

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    North of Northampton is also far from perfect in my experience, and I'm also not sure that conductors always only work in one direction from Northampton. However, a fellow passenger who recently engaged me in conversation said that, to cross the Northampton boundary, they had to ask the Union; unlikely I know, but where did that idea come from?
    I travel fairly frequently, and LNR (and, for that matter, VWC and XC) conductors are very rarely to be seen between New Street and Coventry when it's busy. Fairly rare between Coventry and Rugby. Of course, there's the Centro very cheap day ticket (?£7.50) that's valid on trains, so possibly there isn't much fare evasion, particularly now there's barriers. The earlier morning down services (06.00 - 07.00) are exceptions, and do seem to be checked punctiliously, though the cynic in me wonders whether the likelihood (very high on one particular train) of TOC management staff travelling on these trains is a factor.
    It is hard to see, on a train from Northampton to Euston that only makes 1 or 2 calls, why conductors are 'too busy' to do fare checks; and, when they do do checks, why the excuses of passengers in the first holding standard class tickets are so readily accepted (there's quite a few clues - the word 'First' appearing all around, for instance) - some don't even ask them to move, particularly if the conductor is male and the passenger is young and not!
    But, as you say, there are those who do try very hard indeed.
    I'm not sure whether it still applies, but from conversations a few years ago, conductors then did receive commission and were expected to achieve a minimum level. One I spoke to had just sold a WST to Reading, and, as it was Monday morning, he calculated that he could take it easy for the rest of the week.
    All of this is in complete contrast to the Midland Main Line, where there is a similar number of calls but tickets are checked very frequently and first 'policed' very actively.
     
  21. option

    option Member

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    Nothing on the WMR website so far...
     
  22. Silverlinky

    Silverlinky Member

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    Talks were held on Friday, the RMT gained concessions in line with their demands of a month earlier. The deal is going back to the local reps early next week for consideration.
     
  23. BucksBones

    BucksBones Member

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    There is now; the message below is also being displayed on PIS screens and broadcast on station tannoys.

    https://www.londonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk/industrialaction

    Because of industrial action by members of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT), we will run a reduced service on Saturdays in November and December.

    We will only be able to provide a very basic service. We ask our customers to carefully consider whether their journey is absolutely necessary, as significant disruption is expected.

    The RMT Union has announced Industrial Action on the following dates:

    • Saturday 16 November
    • Saturday 23 November
    • Saturday 30 November
    • Saturday 7 December
    • Saturday 14 December
    • Saturday 21 December
    • Saturday 28 December
    We are working very hard to resolve the dispute with the RMT Union - please note the affected dates could change at the last minute, so check your journey again before you travel.

    On an affected day:

    • there will be fewer trains running,
    • some stations will not be served,
    • some London Northwestern Railway services will finish earlier than normal,
    • there will be no additional replacement bus services.
    Our advice

    • Plan ahead: Check your journey now and again just before you travel - be aware that train times may change at last minute, on the day.
    • Leave more time for journeys: Other train companies are due to run a normal service but will be busier than usual. Don’t aim for the last train home: get there early and be prepared to queue at busier stations.
    • Consider your options: you may want to consider travelling on another day or not travelling by rail at all.
    • Only travel if necessary: we're going to be really busy, so please consider if your journey is essential.

    This will not go down well with passengers, particularly as this announcement contains no hint of apology or even basic humility; nor does it explain why the action is taking place.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Well, assuming they do manage to get the staff, the service (which is split at NMP and BHM) should be better than normal! :)
     
  25. BucksBones

    BucksBones Member

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    Yes I thought the same! Theoretically if they run 12 car trains it may not be too painful. In practice though I suspect even the emergency timetable may completely fall apart when it comes to it. We'll have to wait and see I guess.
     
  26. centraltrains

    centraltrains Member

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    Surprised all snow hill 'extremities' have been cut. No Stratford or Worcester trains!
     
  27. RealTrains07

    RealTrains07 On Moderation

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    No trains serving the stoke loop or the trent valley line. No surprise their then?

    Funny how the slow birmingham and liverpool trains gets priority as usual
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    That's because other than Atherstone and Polesworth you can get to all those places via Birmingham. Therefore they are the most sensible ones to lop.
     
  29. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Stone?
     
  30. Idon'tKnow

    Idon'tKnow Member

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    Won't be able to get to Rugeley via Birmingham on strike days either, chase line will only operate walsall to Birmingham
     

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