Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has announced that RMT Conductors will walk out again on Tuesday 21 June (next week) due to disagreements about a new role introduced by GTR.
Talks between RMT and GTR at ACAS on 13 June ended without an agreement to amend GTR’s plans.
RMT tabled a seven-point plan based on retaining the Conductor role as-is, but suggesting changes to the Revenue Protection Officer (RPO) role and potential changes to several RPO depots. GTR is not prepared to favour one group of employees over any other.
GTR has now confirmed its plans to implement its new on-board role which it claims will protect all jobs and benefit passengers across the Southern network, commencing 21 August.
“The new role of On-Board Supervisor protects all our Conductors’ jobs, keeping them on trains, and re-focusing their tasks in favour of face-to-face customer service to passengers. On modern trains, the responsibility for closing train doors will move from the Conductor to the driver as they already do on over 60% of the 3,200 trains operated on the entire GTR network,” GTR said in a statement.
Commenting on the confirmation of the plan to implement the new role, Chief Operating Officer Dyan Crowther said: “Despite six months of talks, the RMT gave us no practical plan to implement the new role at ACAS – instead we have this announcement of a totally unnecessary strike. We now have no option but to confirm the implementation of the new role.
“This new on-board role will keep people on trains, and re-focus their roles on assisting passengers. No-one is losing their job, and as many services will have someone on board as they do today. We know that many passengers are experiencing a poor service at the moment, that’s why we need to bring in these changes as quickly as possible,” Crowther said.
Since transitions to the new On Board role will commence in August, any further strikes, which just cause misery to passengers, are entirely unnecessary, GTR added. GTR will continue to engage directly with employees and work together to improve the experience for passengers using GTR trains.
For more information and for a map of routes affected by the strike visit this website: http://www.southernrailway.com/your-journey/strike