Rail conductors announce strike action in South Yorkshire after worker sacked over train ‘surfing’ youth

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A train operator is reassuring rail users that services will not be affected after conductors in Sheffield announced strike action.

First TransPennine Express conductors based in Sheffield and Cleethorpes have voted in favour of strike action following the sacking of a staff member.

The Rail, Martime and Transport Union said the staff member was dismissed following a train despatch irregularity at Grimsby.

Conductors will now stage a series of 24-hour walk-outs from midnight on Sunday, June 7, June 14, June 21 and June 28.


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According to the RMT the staff member was sacked after a youth jumped off a moving train after ‘surfing’ it.

The union said the worker had seen a youth attempted to ‘surf’ a train and so stopped the despatch process and asked the youth to move.

The youth moved and he was able to give the signal to the driver to start leave the station.

As the driver was about the move off the youth ‘surfed’ the train by holding on to the door frame and standing on the small step board.

The train started to move off down the platform at 7mph with the youth clinging on for about 15 meters then jumping back off and the train continuing.

The worker judged that it was safer to allow the youth to jump back off at slow speed, rather than carry out the approved procedure of pressing the red emergency stop button, which would have made an immediate emergency full brake application, possibly throwing the youth off balance.

The youth who had been clinging to the train the shouted, swore and spat at the worker.

Nick Donovan, managing director of First TransPennine Express, said that services during the strike action will operate as normal.

He said: “The news of industrial action is clearly disappointing, if not deeply concerning, when you consider the conductor decided not to stop the train whilst he saw a vulnerable member of the public hanging on to the outside of the vehicle.

“The conductor’s actions were in clear and direct contravention to his training, and also in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

“As a consequence, he was dismissed following a full investigation and appropriate disciplinary process.

“I would like to make it absolutely clear to our customers that we intend to operate all services between Sheffield and Cleethorpes as planned without any deviation from the current timetable.

“I am determined our customers will not be impacted as a result of this action.”