Cold weather doesn’t stop fight to keep guards on trains

Despite temperatures of -2˚c, RMT members were out in force at Leeds train station on the 14th day of strike action on Northern Rail, which was taking place as part of co-ordinated action across 6 train operating companies against the introduction of Driver Only/Controlled Operation (DOO/DCO).

Iain Dalton, Leeds Socialist Party

Despite the chilly January weather, the strikers were fired up and determined to win. Andy Budds, RMT EC member for Yorkshire & Lincolnshire told us that “RMT membership is up across the Yorkshire & Lincolnshire region – this dispute has made us stronger as members can see our determination to keep guard guaranteed on every service in the region.”

Other pickets told us they were equally determined to see this dispute through – the introduction of DOO/DCO would mean an uncertain future and the end of ‘turn up and go’ for many passengers with disabilities. Even Tory Transport Minister Chris Grayling’s latest ‘offer’ that current guards would still have a job in the next contract is not much – it could mean a zero-hour contract on minimum wage, as another picket told me.

RMT members will be out Wednesday and Friday as well in their fight to defend the safety-critical role played by guards.

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