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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 November 2017

Coordinated strike action on five rail networks against driver-only operation

Train guard at Swansea station photo Lobster1/CC

Train guard at Swansea station photo Lobster1/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party RMT members

Rail workers' union RMT has announced coordinated strikes on five different networks to defeat the threat of driver-only operation (DOO).

Workers will walk out on Southern, South Western Railway and Greater Anglia for 48 hours from 8 November and will be joined by those on Merseyrail and Arriva Rail North for 24 hours on the same date.

The RMT has been in dispute with Southern for over 18 months now with strike action spreading to Merseyrail, Arriva Rail North and most recently Greater Anglia. South Western Railway will be taking action for the first time.

Train drivers' union Aslef has held talks with Southern and is currently balloting members on a deal to end the dispute there. Though Aslef rejects DOO, the deal would accept the argument for train guards becoming non-safety critical and for trains to run without them under various operational circumstances.

The result will be known on 8 November - the same day as the RMT strikes. Aslef members on Southern should reject this deal. If they do DOO extension will suffer a fatal setback.

It's clear the government is using Southern as its battering ram to begin the final destruction of the guard grade on Britain's railways. Any settlement which allows a passenger train to run without the second member of staff - under any circumstances - will open up a breach in the battle to retain a safety-critical second member of staff on trains.

The Socialist Party supports the RMT's strike action. DOO should be totally eliminated from the railway, not extended.

Discussions include: Labour and the trade unions

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Related links:

Rail:

triangleRMT strikes against driver-only operation continue

triangleRMT rail members buoyed by coordinated action

triangleStrike against driver-only operation on five rail networks

triangleRail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up

triangleBrutal rail privateer Abellio takes over Midlands rail services

Strike:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: Save our NHS - the lessons of the Barts strike

triangleUni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

triangleBig political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

triangleTeachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

RMT:

triangleMerseyrail protest

triangleAnti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

triangleNationalise rail now

Aslef:

triangleStrikers picket the South Western Railway network

triangleFight to keep guards on trains continues despite setback Aslef deal

Arriva Rail North:

triangleRMT strikes against removal of train guards spreads

Merseyrail:

triangleStrikers rally in Liverpool

Trains:

triangleAslef members must reject poor Southern Rail offer

Strikes:

triangleUniversity workers' walkout for decent pensions

Drivers:

triangleMini-strike wave continues and intensifies

Train drivers:

triangleVirgin train workers ballot for strike action

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