May 192018
 

Co hosted by the Association of British Commuters

The full story behind the RMT story yesterday is even more shocking than the newspapers made out, and has created a huge wave of anger within the disabled community. With the Thameslink timetable launching on Monday the press will be out in force and there is a small window of opportunity to own the headlines again on this issue.

We’ll be meeting at the Shard entrance outside London Bridge at 5pm to form a People’s Picket and would greatly appreciate the attendance of as many of our friends and allies as possible.

Over the weekend and during the day on Monday, we’ll also be trying to secure the attendance of MPs at the protest – if you are able to help at all with this on Monday, it would be greatly appreciated.

We’d be very grateful if you could spread the word through your networks.

Please notify the Facebook Event page if you are going so we can estimate numbers

Our demand: Keep The Guard On The Train
The GTR staff training guide that the RMT released on Friday was even more shocking than we feared. It also showed that the company has now begun a ‘call ahead’ policy when boarding passengers, which has led to members of our groups being refused boarding even though the train was sitting right in front of them at the station.

The removal of a guaranteed guard from the train creates a loophole that we believe will only lead to further, institutionalised breaches of the Equality Act. With the ‘call ahead’ policy, it is now clear that this will have an equivalent effect on pre-booked and ‘turn up and go’ passengers, so the myth that pre-booking will be a solution under DOO is disproven.

Removing a wheelchair user from their chosen form of transport because of the company’s inability to staff the network adequately is blatant discrimination. We do not consider taxis a reasonable adjustment, especially with the extended waiting times at unstaffed/rural stations. It is only a matter of time before this Equality Act breach is confronted in court – and that’s not our opinion, but the verdict of a 2-year buried Rail Delivery Group report on the matter.

  • We believe the current industrial dispute could be solved easily with the simple guarantee of a second member of staff. This is clearly the precedent on which all future staffing plans will be based, and the easiest way to ensure the principles of the Equality Act are met. There can be no justification for an endless taxpayer-funded dispute that aims to break a trade union at the expense of disabled people’s rights.
  • We have no faith in current consultations involving the DfT and the RDG, who have shown themselves to be deliberately evading this issue. There is no sense in professing to take disabled access seriously when on the other hand, you are trying to remove an important staffing precedent for workers and passengers alike.

To read ABC’s full analysis of the controversial report that hit the press recently, click here: https://abcommuters.wordpress.com/2018/05/18/exclusive-full-copy-of-gtrs-staff-training-document-which-discriminates-against-disabled-passengers/

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 Posted by at 14:27

  One Response to “People’s Picket: Disabled passengers protest against GTR Monday 21st 5pm London Bridge Station”

  1. I suggest also setting up a petition to the government through one of the petition websites like 38 Degrees or the Parliament one, and getting the URL of the petition into every press release you do. People who are not directly affected will still be willing to sign a position because it’s quick and easy and if you can get a good number of signatories that’s another news item in itself.

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