RMT accuses Southern Railway of ‘rigged’ claims over conductors row strikes
PUBLISHED: 12:45 09 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:57 09 March 2017
Another 24-hour strike will take place on Monday
A bitter row has erupted ahead of a fresh strike by workers on Southern Railway which will cause more travel misery for passengers.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out for 24 hours next Monday in a long-running dispute over staffing and the role of conductors.
The strikes will affect journeys from Ashford Internatinal and Tonbridge Station.
The union has accused the company of making “bogus” claims about the impact of industrial action, including 29 strikes by RMT members.
Company claims about the number of trains set to run are “rigged” and not borne out by the passenger feedback on previous strike days, said the RMT.
The union claimed the “collapse” in the share price of Southern’s owner, Govia Thameslink Railway ( GTR), made a “nonsense” of the company saying the action was having a diminishing impact.
It added: “Managers from elsewhere in GTR operations are being swung in at considerable cost, both in cash terms and disruption to work elsewhere, to try and break the strike.”
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Instead of spinning fantasies about the continuing impact of the guards’ action on Southern Rail, the company should be round the table with the union looking for a solution that protects safe operation and which underpins the guard guarantee on the Southern services.
“RMT repeats again the call for genuine and serious talks that cut through the barrage of spin and hype from the company.”
A Southern spokesman said: “We’re aiming to run as full a service as possible next Monday for our passengers.
“We’ve made it clear to the RMT that we won’t meet with them whilst they persist with wholly unnecessary industrial action.”