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Southern Rail to strike again after union offer of talks ‘snubbed’ by bosses

PUBLISHED: 08:28 01 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:59 01 March 2017

Southern trains

Southern trains

Archant

The strike will take place on March 13, and affect services from Tonbridge Station and Ashford International

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union on strike-hit Southern Rail are due to walk out again on March 13 after the union said an offer of talks was “snubbed” by bosses.

The strikes affect services from Tonbridge Station, and Ashford International, and have regularly been causing chaos for commuters since the row began last year.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “The abject failure by Southern Rail to meet with us, to clarify their exact position on the second safety-critical member of staff and to take the safety issues seriously has left us with no option but to confirm further action.

“These disputes could have been settled if Southern/GTR had sat down and listened to our case and given the guarantee of a second-safety critical member of staff on their trains.”

He added: “The union’s position on Driver Only Operation (DOO) is perfectly clear. We will not agree to any introduction of DOO and will fight to retain the safety-critical role of the guard and to keep a guard on the train.”

A spokesman for Southern said: “This will be the 30th day of RMT strike action for Southern passengers and today’s news is clearly disappointing.

“We asked the RMT executive to suspend any further action when they met today so that talks could take place, instead they have chosen to put their members through even more pointless industrial action.

“They say they want to talk, but they are hell-bent on further strike misery and causing disruption and hardship to people’s everyday work and family lives.

“We were able to run almost 90% (87%) of services on the last RMT strike day and we will again have contingency plans in place to be able to run as full a service for the travelling public on the day.”

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