NSSN 371: RMT starts 2018 with DOO strikes in 5 train companies


From the RMT website:-

RMT announces strike action in New Year in separate disputes over the attack on the role of the guard and the extension of Driver Only Operation.

RAIL UNION RMT today (December 20) confirmed strike action in January in separate disputes with train operating companies across the UK over attacks on the role of the safety-critical guard and the extension of Driver Only Operation in the name of increased profits.

Members on Northern, Merseyrail, Greater Anglia, South Western Railways and Island Line have been instructed to take action as follows:

Not to book on for any shifts between 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on the 8th, 10th and 12th January 2018

Members on Southern have been instructed to take action as follows:

Not to book on for any shifts between 00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on the 8th January 2018


RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“Every single effort that RMT has made to reach negotiated settlements in these separate disputes with the different train operating companies over safe operation and safe staffing has been kicked back in our faces and we are left with no option but to confirm a further phase of industrial action in the New Year. No one should be in any doubt, these disputes are about putting the safety of the travelling public before the profits of the private train companies

NSSN supporting RMT Staines picket last November
NSSN supporting RMT Staines picket last November

“It is frankly ludicrous that we have been able to negotiate long-term arrangements in Scotland and Wales that protect the guards and passenger safety but we are being denied the same opportunities with rail companies in England. This suspension of normal industrial relations by the employers has to end if we are to make progress towards a solution that guarantees safe rail travel for all.

“RMT is in no doubt that it is the dead hand of the minority Tory Government that is interfering in these disputes and that their influence is a factor in preventing the union from reaching negotiated settlements. With fare increases kicking in on the 2nd January it is outrageous that Theresa May and Chris Grayling are happy to stand aside and cheer on overseas rail companies that rip-off the British passenger with eye-watering far increases to subsidise their domestic transport operations while throwing the guards off our trains.

“RMT is demanding today that the blockade on talks is lifted in these separate disputes to allow us to negotiate freely with the companies and give us the opportunity to pursue the objective of a guard guarantee that puts British passenger safety before the rank exploitation of our rail network by fare-jacking private companies who are laughing all the way to the bank. If it’s good enough for Wales and Scotland to put safety first then it’s good enough for the rest of the UK.

“RMT stands ready for talks in each of these separate disputes.”

National dispute fund (DOO disputes) – If you would like to donate to the RMT National Dispute Fund which makes payments to support their striking members taking part in National DOO disputes then you can donate via PayPal using the donate button below or make a cheque payable to RMT National Dispute Fund and send it to the address below. Alternatively, you can ring their Freephone helpline on 0800 376 3706 who will be happy to process a credit card payment for you, or, if you would like to pay via internet banking, please email [email protected] for further details. Vicky Thompson, Finance Manager RMT, 39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD. Tel: 020-7529-8843

Watch new RMT video of a series of short films commissioned by RMT that drive home our key messages on safety, security and accessibility on the railways:-


More from RMT:

Overwhelming support from passengers for RMT protests this morning over privatised rail fares rip off (2 Jan) – General Secretary Mick Cash said; “While the British passenger is being bled dry, the same private companies who are coining it in are axing safety-critical staff and slashing security on our trains and stations in the name of even fatter profits. It’s a national scandal that private profit comes before public safety on our rail network read more

Arriva Cross Country strike action rock solid this morning in fight over rostering abuses (31 Dec) – RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Our members are standing up this morning against rostering abuses and their action is rock solid across the franchise from Penzance to Aberdeen and the disruption to services is solely down to Arriva management’s intransigence read more



NSSN news

Advanced notice: the 2018 National Shop Stewards Network Annual Conference will be from 11am-4.30pm on Saturday June 30th in Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London. It is open to all trade union and anti-cuts campaigners

Get your trade union branch or trades council to affiliate to the NSSN – it only costs £50. Already affiliated? Please think about renewing it. Also, many of our supporters pay a few pounds a month. You can set up a similar standing order to ‘National Shop Stewards Network’, HSBC – sort code 40-06-41, account number 90143790. Our address is NSSN, PO Box 54498, London E10 9DE. Affiliation letter is below

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Union News


Strike action set to delay Crossrail project (21 Dec) – Members of Unite, the UK’s construction union, employed on Crossrail will take strike action early next year, in a dispute which is set to delay the project. The 80 electricians are employed by Balfour Beatty on the Woolwich section of the Crossrail development. The workers recorded an 85 per cent yes vote in favour of strike action in the dispute which concerns the payment of an improved second tier payment and a four week finishing bonus, payable when the workers are informed they are to be made redundant. An initial 24 hour strike has been called for Wednesday 10 January. Further dates for strikes are anticipated to be called early in the new year read more

New Year talks to resolve Medway NHS theatre staffing crisis (21 Dec) – Talks are going to be held in the New Year to resolve the crisis in theatre staffing at the Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Thursday 21 December). Unite regional officer Kathy Walters said: “Because of the draconian trade union legislation introduced by the Tories, we were not able to reach the strict ballot thresholds for industrial action that are now required, despite the majority who voted, more than 80 per cent, wanting to take such action in the New Year read more

Support Manchester Mears housing workerssend messages of support to Unite rep Colin Pitt: [email protected] and Unite regional officer [email protected] and post donations to: Unite House, Merchants Quay, Salford Quays, Salford M50 3SG

Support North West bus strikes at First Manchester Send messages of support and donations via Neil Clarke, [email protected] c/o Unite, Jack Jones House, 2 Churchill Way, Liverpool  L3 8EF


Unite/PCS Coventry Public Meeting: ‘Scrap the pay cap! Stop the cuts!’ (supported by Coventry TUC) – speakers include Mark Serwotka (General Secretary of PCS) and Howard Beckett (Unite Assistant General Secretary) and Jim Cunningham MP – 6pm on Wednesday 10th January at the Methodist Central Hall in Coventry

Coventry Scrap the cap meeting leaflet



Strong second day of strike action at Plymouth Benefit Centre (22 Dec) – Members at the DWP offices in Plymouth have taken their second consecutive day of strike action today (22 December). The action has again been very well supported, with very few people crossing the picket line and going in to work. Like yesterday there was another buoyant picket line, again bolstered by ordinary members, local supporters, DWP group president, Fran Heathcote, and staff from the PCS South West regional office read more

Support DWP strikes:

  • Send messages of support to [email protected]
  • Send donations to the strike fund to PCS DWP Group, 3rd Floor, Town Centre House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8LY

HMRC forced to give junior staff pay increase to meet ‘National Living Wage’ (12 Dec) – PCS demands that HMRC commits to becoming a real Living Wage Employer, as it is forced to give administrative assistant grade staff working outside London a supplementary pay increase to ensure the department complies with the government’s National Living Wage. In April 2018, the statutory National Living Wage will rise from £7.50 an hour to £7.83 an hour. PCS is clear that this situation is unacceptable. We believe that HMRC, the authority charged with ensuring all employers in the UK pay the statutory National Living Wage, rather than being forced to guarantee minimum levels of pay, should be leading by example in ensuring that staff working in this department are paid above the statutory minimum read more




Royal Museums Greenwich workers strike on New Year’s Day – Key workers at the Royal Museums Greenwich (RMG) went on strike on New Year’s Day following new contracts being imposed on staff in November read more



‘Close the Gap’ hits Westminster (Dec) – Phase Two of the CWU’s campaign to expose the second class treatment of around 2,000 Manpower employees working on the BT account began in earnest today  (December 19) – with scores of CWU members congregating in Parliament Square to signal the start of a political onslaught that will intensify in the coming weeks and months read more



Sign the petition against the Government reducing the Prison Officer Pension



Support the Newham strikes against academisation: A number of schools in Newham have been on strike against threats of academisation, including Avenue Primary and Royal Docks. You can send messages of support to [email protected]



GMB consults members over possible strike action at Great Western Hospital (21 Dec) – GMB, the union for in the health and care sectors, is carrying out a consultative vote amongst housekeepers, cleaners, porters and catering staff employed by Carillion at Great Western Hospital (GWH) in Swindon that could lead to strike action in the new year over the treatment of these staff. The facilities management contract for the GWH is currently run by Carillion, but it was recently announced that rival company, Serco, would shortly be taking over the management read more



Unions at Al Jazeera press for pay rise (22 Dec) – BECTU and the NUJ are continuing to press management at Al Jazeera English for a consolidated pay increase. If this is achieved it will be the first such rise in four years. The union side met with the company’s management at ACAS on 13 December and whilst the company’s formal written response is awaited, the signs are not encouraging read more

BFI workers reject new pay and grading scheme (20 Dec) – BECTU and Unite members have voted overwhelmingly to reject the British Film Institute’s (BFI) proposed new pay and grading scheme. The BFI’s offer was rejected by 94% of BECTU members, with 6% of those taking part voting to accept, whilst 85% of Unite members voted to reject with 15% accepting the proposal. All parties have now agreed to seek the services of ACAS with a view to resolving the issue in the New Year read more

Keep supporting the Picturehouse workers after latest strikes over Christmas: read the latest on Brixton Ritzy Facebook Page and those of Hackney, Crouch End, Central, Dulwich East and Duke of York Brighton

Donate to the Picturehouse Cinema strike fund: https://www.crowdpac.co.uk/campaigns/250/picturehousestrike



Swindon journalists strike for two days over poverty pay (2 Jan) – Journalists at the Swindon Advertiser have begun two days of strike action. The industrial action was called as part of a dispute over low pay and working conditions at the Newsquest-owned regional daily newspaper. Members of the National Union of Journalists at the Swindon Advertiser will not be signing on for work today or tomorrow. They are taking part in a picket line outside the Old Town offices of the newspaper this morning and have received support from NUJ chapels from Wiltshire, Bristol and Oxford read more. Messages of support and solidarity can be sent to: [email protected]. Tweet your support to @AdverStrike  #Cutsquest. Donations for the strike fund can be sent to: Unity Trust Bank, Account name:  NUJ Wiltshire Branch, Account number:  35016904 Bank sort code: 608301



McDonald’s set for more strikes as action spreads across Britain – Concerns over low wages, zero-hours contracts and mishandling of sexual assault claims are at root of unrest. Strike action at McDonald’s is to spread to outlets across the country in the coming months, following the lead of workers at two restaurants in the south of England. Dossiers on claims made by staff, ranging from the company’s alleged failure to provide protective equipment for workers using grills to allegations about management mishandling sexual assault claims, are being compiled by trade unionists. The September strikes were the first at McDonald’s since it opened in the UK in the 1970s read more from the Observer. Keep sending solidarity to the BFAWU, donate to the strike fund and also help the fund by buying a #McStrike t-shirt. More info on the Fast Food Rights/Hungry for Justice website



Support the Birmingham Homecare Workers – Please support our 350 home care workers who are in dispute over redundancies and a new rota system. They have voted in an industrial action ballot with 99% voting to strike. As you will know older people, those with learning difficulties and mental health problems have all seen major reductions in the services to help them because of shrinking budgets. The Tories have continued to cut budgets for social care and in Birmingham we have gone from a social care workforce of over 7,000 in 2010 to less than 2,000 now Facebook page

Support the Royal Devon and Exeter porters, who have taken strike action against the imposition of 12 hour shifts. Donate to their hardship fund. Send a cheque to the branch at: UNISON Office, Baker House
, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Trust, Barrack Road, Exeter EX2 5DW. Or make a direct donation to the branch account

Account Name: UNISON Royal Devon and Exeter Health 10296 Branch

Account Number: 20323929 Sort Code: 60-83-01



Deadline for talks on USS pension scheme extended into 2018 (19 Dec) – Negotiations on the future of pensions for university staff who are members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) have been extended until 23 January 2018. The talks were due to end today, but the UCU and Universities UK (UUK) have agreed to continue negotiations after the Christmas break with a view to reaching an agreement. UCU is currently balloting its members for industrial action over changes proposed by UUK to slash USS members’ retirement income. That ballot closes on Friday 19 January and the union is urging any members who have not yet voted to cast their vote immediately read more


United Voices of the World union

The cleaners at Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH) will strike if necessary in pursuit of the London Living Wage of £10.20 per hour. They are currently only paid the minimum poverty wage of £7.50 per hour – LHH is a large company located in the heart of London’s financial district, just next to Monument tube station. It outsources the cleaners to City Central Cleaning & Support Services Ltd. The cleaners’ request for the LLW was rejected without explanation, and despite LHH’s profits of £2 million with a huge 132% increase in revenue this year. Consequently, the cleaners, members of UVW, have voted to strike and will do so indefinitely until their reasonable demand is met.  They have predictably but unlawfully been threatened with potential dismissal if they participate in a strike, for which they are currently taking their employer to court read more

The Ministry of Justice – *Update, 21st December:  Today we had a successful leafleting operation outside the Ministry, now 800 lighter! See our Facebook post. Cleaners set to strike for a living wage, dignity and equality at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in Westminster. The brave and inspiring cleaners – members of UVW and all of whom are migrants – are set to be balloted to strike if their demands for a living wage, and equality of sick pay and annual leave allowance with civil servants are not met read more



Other news

Urgent Legal Action for Our NHS – Round 2: Jeremy Hunt and NHS England propose allowing private companies to take control of our health and care services. This goes against fundamental NHS principles. Fund our fight to get proper consultation, parliamentary scrutiny and respect for the law. Save our NHS from an American-style take-over. Donate here


Blacklisting & Victimisation

Blacklist Support Group financial appeal: the Blacklist support group is desperately short of funds, to continue the incredible work we need more finance, would you please consider making a donation, raise it at your branches and trade councils. Please make cheques payable to Joint sites committee and send to 70 Darnay Rise Chelmsford Essex CM1 4XA. Please forward onto your contacts many thanks Steve Kelly (JSC Treasurer)

Blacklisted t-shirts available at: https://shop.hopenothate.org.uk/component/hikashop/product/78-blacklisted-t-shirt

Book: http://newint.org/books/politics/blacklisted-secret-war/

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNcgrNs6pB8

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/blacklistSG/

Blog: www.hazards.org/blacklistblog




Algeria: New government attack on independent energy union read more






30 National Shop Stewards Network 2018 Annual Conference 11am-4.30pm Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Holborn, London



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