A South Western Railway commercial guard writes:
Since it told us about the deal, the union has told us nothing about what has been happening since. Guards are getting annoyed that we don't know what is happening in the talks.
Although we are pleased that the deal between RMT and the company appears to confirm that there will be a safety-critical guard on every train, we know that management will try to negotiate exceptions. And we know that any agreement to run any trains without guards - even in rare or unusual circumstances or for short bits of the route - will be the thin end of a thick wedge. The same applies to any attempt by the company to lessen our role in closing the doors.
We are very solid in this dispute. We held four strike ballots and achieved bigger majorities in each successive vote. Apart from the relatively small number of scabs, we are determined to defend our jobs.
Guards felt frustrated when the union called off our strike on Ascot Ladies' Day just for a promise of talks. Once the strike was off, the company then didn't attend talks! The union has to learn from this and not do it again.
It is perfectly possible to talk and strike at the same time! If the union were to name strike days now, then we would soon find management taking the talks more seriously. And then if they don't agree to the assurances we want, then we'll be ready to walk out again.