THE RAIL union RMT held a national protest against Driver Only Operation outside Parliament on Wednesday 25th April, to coincide with the second anniversary of the start of RMT strike action on Southern Rail – Britain's longest running industrial dispute – against Driver-Only Operation (DOO) and in defence of keeping the guard on the train.
Since the initial dispute began on Southern, RMT members on Northern, Merseyrail, Greater Anglia and South Western Railways have also taken strike action in opposition to the assault on jobs, safety, security and accessibility.
After the protest a meeting was held in the Houses of Parliament with a number of guest speakers.
Before the event RMT, general secretary Mick Cash said: “The sheer grit and determination of our members on Southern, Northern, Merseyrail, Greater Anglia and South Western Railways to put public safety before private profit over the past two years is a credit to the trade union movement and the communities they are standing up for.
“We will be demonstrating outside Parliament to show that we are as determined now as we were two years ago – when the first dispute started – to defend the role of the guard on the train and the basic principles of passenger safety and accessibility.
“RMT has successfully secured agreements in both Wales and Scotland that lock-in the guard guarantee and if it’s good enough for Wales and Scotland to put safety and the role of the guard centre stage then it should be good enough for the rest of Britain as well.”