CONNEX SOUTH East has imposed new rosters that threaten 90 guards' jobs. The move shows just what is behind the refusal of Connex and a dozen other train operating companies to agree to restore the safety role of guards. That safety dispute led to a strike by 3,000 guards in the RMT union last week. A further 24-hour strike is planned for next Thursday.
The union has rightly argued that the companies' real aim is to scrap guards completely. RMT general secretary Bob Crow said of Connex's move: 'These new rosters have not only been imposed without any discussion or agreement in the normal bargaining machinery, but also breach all agreements we have with Connex on non-extension of driver-only operation.'
The RMT is calling for the previous rosters to be reinstated immediately and is preparing for next week's strike, which guards on three other companies are balloting to join.