RMT signalling staff in South Wales started a six-day strike on 14 December over the imposition of 8-hour rosters at the new South Wales Control Centre due to open in January 2010. The strike follows a ballot that delivered a 2:1 majority for action by signalling staff in the Wales and the Marches Operations area.
The new rosters unilaterally rip up tried and tested existing agreements on 12-hour rosters. More money for Network Rail, more disruption for workers…
Meanwhile, the RMT has started a “Keep The Guard on My Train” campaign against First ScotRail’s plans for driver-only train operation. The campaign, which puts passengers before profits, aims to turn the spotlight on the increased safety risks of removing guards across the network, including on the new ScotRail service between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The risks of operating trains without guards were highlighted in the Cullen Inquiry following the Ladbroke Grove rail crash. Guards are fully trained in operational safety and emergency procedures including dealing with derailments.