Rather than going on strike RMT has called on station staff to stop doing overtime and to refuse any further training. Now the intended effects of the overtime ban are pretty straight forward, in advance of cutting 953 jobs some positions have become vacant when staff retire or leave but until the proposed changes come in they still have to be filled. If those duties aren’t covered then some stations could be left short-staffed, if those stations are Section 12s and they fall below minimum staffing level they’d have to close. That sounds quite serious but there have been overtime bans in the past and while they’ve led to some of the smaller open section stations being left without any staff I can’t remember a single Section 12 shutting.
I’ll admit I’m not entirely sure what effect the refusal to carry out training will have although I think the idea is that the SSs, SACRs and SAMFs who are supposed to mutate into CSMs and CSSs won’t be licensed to carry out the duties required of them when the proposed changes are introduced. The only thing I can think of is a farmer unharnessing a horse from a plough in order to harness it to a cart but instead of obediently walking across the farmyard the horse lies down and refuses to move. Does the farmer just keep pulling on the reins while repeatedly telling the horse that it needs to be “flexible” or does he have the brains to offer the horse a rather large bag of carrots?