Scotland

RMT members accept Scotrail deal over guards

ScotRail

Workers on ScotRail have voted to accept a deal to settle a dispute over the role of guards on trains.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union backed the proposed agreement by 10-1.

The dispute centred on whether the train driver instead of the guard should open the doors of new trains, due to come into service next year.

Under the deal, agreed in principle last month, the driver will open them but a guard will control their closing.

The ScotRail Alliance has previously described the agreement as a "win-win" situation for both sides.

'Wake-up call'

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said he hoped the deal would provide a model for resolving another dispute over a similar issue in southern England with Southern Rail.

He said: "Our members have backed a deal in a referendum ballot that is a major victory in the fight to stop the compromising of rail safety through the extension of Driver Only Operation.

"This deal, which represents a benchmark for the industry, is exactly what we have proposed as a resolution to the Southern dispute.

"If it's good enough for Scotland, it's good enough for the South of England.

"The deal guarantees a guard on every new electrified train and that the conductor will retain their full competency including rules, track safety and evacuation.

"In addition, ScotRail confirm that trains operating these services will not run without a competent conductor onboard.

"The agreement has been reached after a campaign of industrial action and after intense negotiations and shows what can be achieved when management and unions get down to serious talks. That lesson should be a wake-up call to Southern Rail."

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