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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 January 2020

West Midlands RMT guards jobs saved

West Midlands Trains, photo Rob Hodgkins/CC

West Midlands Trains, photo Rob Hodgkins/CC   (Click to enlarge)

RMT transport union members at West Midlands Trains have scored a victory over bosses in a dispute over scrapping guards on trains. After only three days of solid strike action before Christmas, management buckled and agreed to preserve the guards' role with responsibility for opening train doors being transferred to drivers.

With no changes to pay and conditions attached, the offer was accepted by a a nearly two to one majority. While many guards were prepared to fight on in defence of their role and to prevent any loss in responsibilities this is without doubt a victory as the company had originally intended to completely strip away the guards' safety responsibilities.

The growing numbers of drivers refusing to cross the guards' picket lines played an important part in forcing the company to capitulate so early.

However with West Midlands Trains' parent company now under fire for its appalling service performance it might not be long until battle lines are redrawn as a new franchise holder decides to attack staff in the pursuit of shareholder profits.

Tom Woodcock, RMT member

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In The Socialist 8 January 2020:


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What next after the general election, for PCS and the left

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Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

RMT:

triangleTransport union RMT demands action for coronavirus tube safety

triangleDefend the right to strike! Southampton solidarity meeting

triangleBuild union resistance to Tory attacks

triangleDefend the right to strike

triangleAll we want for Christmas is a no-strings pay rise

West Midlands:

triangleCancel the franchise, not our trains

triangleSolid support for guards on West Midlands Trains

triangleWest Midlands Trains: guards strike to defend safety-critical role

triangleWest Midlands Trains guards to strike

Midlands:

triangleWill the North get investment and transport infrastructure?

triangleMidlands mental health workers walk out against privatisation

triangleFinancing the fightback

Jobs:

triangleEssential workers deserve more

triangleNationalise to save jobs threatened by Covid-19 and downturn

Trains:

triangleIt's a strike to ensure the safety of the travelling public

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