So the RMT want to ballot their members about taking strike action following the recent bomb attacks.
What took them so long?
I am a member of a transport union myself, and it is so hard trying to get new people to join when they see how the RMT on the Underground behave (admittedly the news is usually via the right-wing Standard)
While it is not a bad thing to want the company to improve security generally, you can see that there are some old scores being settled in current demands – like the return of guards to tube trains.
One demand is to look into strengthening the bulkheads of drivers’ cabs… that is going to win them the support of the travelling public who will feel reassured that if any more bombs go off at least the driver will be OK.
Another demand is for fully-trained supervisors to accompany any contract work on the network. Why? Contractors already have to have the full set of railway licences. Some of our engineers spend half their time on courses to get their access pass (green card), track licence, fire safety certificates, equipment room license, lift & escalator room licence, invert licence etc. etc. and when they go on track they already have to have a protection master who purely looks after their safety but can’t do any of the actual engineering work… Some of the places contract workers go are pretty confined, so adding another person who will just supervise but can’t do any work is not going to help.
The surprise is that they are not insisting that these jobs go back in-house – that would actually be more sensible and more efficient. But maybe even the RMT realise that unravelling PPP and PFI is too much to ask for.