War of letters as Southern strike goes on

 

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) bosses have offered to meet union leaders ‘any time, any place, anywhere’ as the five-day Southern rail dispute over the role of conductors (guards) entered its second day.

Charles Horton chief executive of GTR, which owns Southern, called on the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union to end the ‘pointless, needless and senseless strike’.

”Local
Southern runs services from London Victoria and London Bridge

He said: ‘I urge the RMT to come back to the table to talk, have constructive and productive discussions on the way forward and shake hands on a deal. We are prepared to meet them directly or through ACAS any time, any place, anywhere to let common sense prevail and give our customers back their trains and give them the service they expect.’

GTR claimed that ‘one-in-five rostered conductors defied RMT pressure and attended work on Monday’.

The company re-published its eight-point ‘compromise’ plan, which included a commitment that conductors and staff in the new role of on-board supervisor (OBS) would retain safety competence while the company and union would agree a list of circumstances whereby a train would run without a second member of traincrew on board.

In a letter to RMT general secretary Mick Cash, GTR’s human resources director Andy Bindon said the offer ‘in full, remains on the table for your acceptance’.

He added: ‘As you know, our plans to implement the new role will commence on 21 August 2016 (although no conductor will move to the OBS role on that date) so the window for you to reach agreement with us is closing. If no agreement is reached by that date we will confirm our position direct with our employees.’

In a letter to Mr Horton on Tuesday, Mr Cash said that the RMT’s offer to end the strike, based on a potential agreement in a similar dispute in Scotland ‘still stands’.

The union repeated claims that ‘sabotage’ by the Department for Transport (DfT) was behind the two parties’ failure to reach a deal at ACAS last week and accused the DfT of ‘weaponsing’ the dispute.

Mr Cash said: ‘RMT can confirm that we were within an inch of making progress towards boxing off a deal with Southern in ACAS talks on Friday afternoon that was based on the offer from Scotrail, an offer that enabled us to suspend all industrial action in the Scotrail guards dispute.

‘We were just getting into the detailed wording when suddenly the plug was pulled and our legs were kicked from under us. We have it on good authority that the deal, which would have enabled us to suspend the Southern strike action this week, was sabotaged by the Government with their director of rail Peter Wilkinson directing operations from outside the talks. ‘

Transport Network approached the DfT for comment. It has not responded to an earlier request to respond to claims that transport secretary Chris Grayling had 'ignored' a request to meet the RMT.

 

Also see

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Highways Estimator

Ringway
Competitive Salary
As the Highways Estimator you will join a busy environment and become an integral part of the team. Hounslow (London Borough), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Ringway

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director (Planning, Regeneration & Transport)

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£87,791 per annum  
This is an exciting time to join Rotherham and make a real difference. We are looking for an outstanding Assistant Director who will bring... Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Corporate Director

Islington London Borough Council
Up to £135k
You will share our values and be passionate about helping us shape the Islington of the future. Islington, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Islington London Borough Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
Looking for strong team players interested in working with a variety of professional and community partners across Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Junior Energy Manager Apprentice

Brent Council
£15,000 p.a. inc.
The right person for this job will be pro-active and innovative in finding a way forward. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Career Grade Drainage Engineer

Swindon Borough Council
£19,092 to £40,680 p.a
Working in the asset management team, you’ll support the work of the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and Highways Authority. Swindon, Wiltshire
Recuriter: Swindon Borough Council

Highway Construction Project Manager

Brent Council
£50,442 - £53,526 p.a. inc.
We are looking for an accomplished highway construction project manager to support the delivery of two high priority highway schemes. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Traffic Signals & UTMC Manager

Bristol City Council
£42,683 - £45,591
Looking for someone with proven management experience, enthusiasm, creativity, vision and good communication skills. City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Principal Highways Project Engineer

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£34,106 - £35,229 per annum
The post holder will be responsible for project managing the delivery of two highway projects on the Key Route Network. Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Traffic Schemes Officer

Oxfordshire County Council
£22,021 - £29,636 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to play a central role with the Traffic Team in the maintenance of the highway network... Kidlington, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Traffic Engineer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£29,055 to £30,756
This is an exciting opportunity to join Telford & Wrekin Council’s Traffic Management Team! Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Assistant Engineer – Traffic Regulation

Telford & Wrekin Council
£23,866 to £25,463
This is an exciting opportunity to join Telford & Wrekin Council’s Traffic Management Team. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Environment Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£29,909 – £32,233 Grade 11 - £33,136 - £35,229
All Environment Officers lead, project manage and/or co-ordinate large environmental projects... Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways Quantity Surveyor

Leicester City Council
£30,756 - £33,136 pro-rata per annum
Working in the Highways Maintenance Group, you will be responsible for the operational highway maintenance activities Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicester City Council

Highways Engineer/Inspector

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22956 - £32637 per annum
Highways Engineer/Inspector - PermanentThere are plenty of reasons to take a closer look at Royal Greenwich.Royal Greenwich is undergoing a huge trans England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Engineer - Bridges

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
We have a vacancy for a Structures Engineer working within the Bridge’s team! Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
You will be required to lead the delivery of a wide range of highway improvements and maintenance projects... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Assistant Director, Highways Operations

Hertfordshire County Council
Competitive Salary
Ensuring the transport infrastructure reflects the pace of our developments and growth agenda... Hertford, Hertfordshire
Recuriter: Hertfordshire County Council