Monday, July 26, 2010


Circular No. NP/138/10/MC

26th July 2010


Dear Colleagues,

South West Trains Ticket Offices

Further to my last circular which highlighted the campaign your Union was waging in defense of South West Trains ticket office opening hours, your Union continues to fight against the proposed cuts and has advised South West Trains that we do not accept their revised proposals. We are still awaiting the final outcomes of the formal complaints lodged by both Passenger Focus and Travelwatch and will continue to mount a high profile campaign.

According to a report released on 20th July 2010, Passenger Focus said people risked missing their train because they would rather queue than buy a ticket from a machine.

Queues at ticket offices often exceeded the industry requirement of five minutes during peak hours, with the worst stations found to be Guildford in Surrey, Winchester and Basingstoke. At these stations at least a third of queues at the ticket office were longer than recommended by the industry standard, despite ticket machines standing empty. Researchers found that passengers were more likely to face queues at off-peak times.

I will keep you informed of any developments in regards to this campaign.

Yours sincerely,

Bob Crow

General Secretary

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Malcom Cherry (Thompsons Solicitor) is Attending the Branch Meeting on the 29th July 2010

Malcom Cherry (Thompsons Solicitor) will be attending the Branch Meeting to address the Branch on the 29th July 2010, Malcolm will be addressing the Branch on legal issues and changes to the specialised processes this Company deal with.

Thompsons is one of the elected solicitors that this Union employ to deal with Legal issues for our members, Malcolm will also be available to take questions from members.

Also in attendance to carry out a presentation on behalf of the Union is Alex Gordon
(National President)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Network Rail (Circular)

Our Ref BR5/0314

Circular No IR/186/10

15th July 2010


Dear Colleagues,


I write to advise branches that following two resolutions received from branches concerning RMT representation at ACAS talks, the General Grades Committee has made the following the decision: -

“We note the correspondence on file and accordingly there are three representatives elected to the National Operations Council for Network Rail and the General Secretary is to ensure that all three are invited and released by the employer to attend all talks at ACAS on this matter relating to rostering, PTR&R and T3 possessions.

In the event of non-availability of any of the three reps on the council for Annual Leave, Sickness or other personal reasons this would not prohibit meetings taking place at ACAS. Branches and Regional Councils to be informed.”

I am writing to Network Rail in line with this decision to advise them we want all three National Operations Council representatives to be released for any future meetings with ACAS in this dispute.

Yours Sincerely

Bob Crow
General Secretary

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Moved Or Changed Your Job

It is imperative that RMT members who have changed their place of work, job title, home address and contact details inform head office or contact your respective Branch Secretary of their new situation.

This can be done by emailing, calling freephone 0800 376 3706 or changing them yourself at (click on 'membership detail').
Employers have used any discrepancy in RMT's membership database to challenge legitimate activity through the use of anti-union legislation in the courts.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Free Day Payments Guards-South West Trains


Our Ref: BR2/7/6
8th July 2010

Dear Colleagues


I write to advise you that voting in the ballot was as follows:

Question: “Are you prepared to take industrial action short of a strike?”

Number of Votes Cast 288
Number found to be spoiled 1
Those Voting YES 177
Those Voting NO 110

The General Grades Committee has now had opportunity to consider this matter and the following decision has been made:

“That we note the ballot result and the wishes of our South West Trains Guard members. South West Trains have clearly reneged on the free day working arrangements and members are to be congratulated for their overwhelming vote. All members are therefore instructed not to work any free days from 00.01 hours on Sunday 25th July 2010 until further notice. A letter to be sent to all Guard Company Council Representatives, all Guard Representatives, all relevant Branches and a personal letter to all South West Trains Guard members. General Grades Committee to be kept informed of all developments. The company to be kept advised of this union’s availability to resolve this issue through the agreed bargaining procedure.”

In line with the General Grades Committee decision all South West Trains Guard members are instructed not to work any free days from 00.01 hours on Sunday 25th July 2010 until further notice.

I am confident that this action will be fully supported by our members. I have informed SWT that we remain available for talks and I hope that management will see sense and take the necessary steps to resolve this dispute. In the meantime, I would like to urge all SWT Guard members to take industrial action short of a strike and stand together with their colleagues to help us achieve justice.

Yours sincerely

Bob Crow
General Secretary

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Womens Safety-Staff Returning to Depot by Taxi

1st July 2010 My ref: EO/21


Circular No. NP/122/10

Dear Colleague,


A resolution was carried at the May meeting of our National Women’s Advisory Committee and a decision subsequently taken by the Council of Executives on how it could be best implemented. The resolution raised concerns about the safety of members, especially women, who require transport back to their home depot late at night or early in the morning with monies collected throughout their shift. The example was given of a lone female guard with cash having to wait outside a station for a taxi after midnight.

This issue is being raised with appropriate companies through the collective bargaining procedure. The Council of Executives also asked that I set out to all Branches our policy in relation to safe waiting places and the vetting of taxi firms and drivers by companies.

The starting point is that employers have a duty to carry out a suitable and sufficient assessment of any risks to health and safety that their employees may be exposed to either in their workplace or as a result of how the work is carried out. The issue of staff, especially women, having to wait late at night with money in a public area is certainly one that should be the subject of a risk assessment.

One of the first questions that should be addressed is ‘is it necessary for the employee to carry the cash back to their home depot?’ Alternatives such as depositing the monies in a safe or night safe at the station where they have finished their shift must surely be the preferred option, especially as the advice from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is:- ‘Think about your personal safety, if attacked surrender cash!’.

The risk assessment should also consider the potential risk members are exposed to if they have to wait in public places for transport back to their home depot. We should insist on a safe place for them to wait. This matter should be resolved before our members start their shifts. Any instances where a safe place is not provided must be reported.

We would expect all companies who arrange transport to undertake checks to ensure safe transport is provided in these situations. All taxi (hackney carriage) and minicab (private hire) drivers must be licensed for a maximum period of three years but most licensing authorities, usually the local council or in London, TfL, do so on an annual basis. The basic requirement for someone to obtain a private hire vehicle licence is that the licensing authority must determine that the applicant is a ‘fit and proper person’. They do this by normally checking that the applicant has a current drivers’ licence; have no relevant criminal convictions; pass a local knowledge test; and meet certain medical fitness standards. Licensing authorities have the power to impose additional requirements as they may consider reasonably necessary.

Operators of minicab firms also require a licence and should be ‘fit and proper persons’. All licensing authorities have a legal duty to maintain a register of all taxi and minicab drivers and their operators. The register must be made available to the public for inspection free of charge, usually at a designated office but in practice can mostly be accessed on the local authority’s website. Companies can therefore easily carry out checks that the firms and drivers they use are currently licensed.

It is presumed that minicabs will be used. The law requires that they must be pre-booked and cannot be hailed in the street. As they are pre-booked, it should be possible for our members to be informed of the name of the driver and make and colour of the car they will use. The member should confirm the driver’s details before getting in the vehicle. Drivers should be issued with a badge that must be visible.

Advice on safety when travelling in either minicabs or taxis is available on various websites such as and The main safety tips are:-

1. Ensure the minicab is pre-booked and that you know the driver’s name, as well as the make and colour of the car.
2. Confirm the driver’s details when they arrive and before getting into the cab.
3. Sit in the back seat and have a mobile phone handy. If possible travel with a colleague.
4. If you chat with the driver, do not give any personal details.
5. Make sure someone knows where you are and what time to expect you.

Hopefully no one will feel threatened whilst travelling in a cab but should they, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust gives the following advice:-

1. Remember to trust your instincts – if you are at all worried – ask the driver to stop in a busy area, and get out of the car.
2. If the driver refuses to stop, use a mobile to call the police and alert other drivers and pedestrians by waving or calling out the window.

Obviously, late at night or the early hours of the morning this advice may not be a viable strategy but may assist in certain circumstances.

I hope all of this information is of use to all your members, especially women.

Yours sincerely,

General Secretary