Three-day strikes to go ahead on Southern Rail as RMT refuses latest deal

PUBLISHED: 16:08 17 October 2016 | UPDATED: 16:08 17 October 2016




Strikes will last from Tuesday to Thursday

The latest attempts to end the ongoing feud between Southern Rail and its workers’ union have failed on the eve of yet more strikes.

From Tuesday, three days of strike action will take place as RMT members campaign against the changing role of conductors.

Earlier today (Monday), Govia Thameslink Rail made an offer to workers which included a £2,000 lump sum per person.

But the RMT has branded the payment a ‘bribe’, claiming ‘money is not the issue’.

“In order to move things forward, I am asking the union to let conductors - the people at the heart of this matter - determine whether this dispute comes to an end or continues” said GTR chief exec Charles Horton, who has proposed a referendum for union members.

“Nearly a third of conductors are now coming into work on strike days and we expect that to increase. There is a full and fair offer on the table and it’s time to stop the strikes and move forward.”

But Mick Cash, general secretary of the rail workers’ union has slammed the latest offer.

He said: “This latest letter from Charles Horton does not move this dispute on a single inch. There is no offer whatsoever to start engaging in serious talks about the safety and access issues at the heart of this matter.

“Instead, Southern have rehashed the £2000 bribe to our members even though the company have been told repeatedly that money is not the issue and that the safety of passengers and staff is not for sale.

In its offer, Southern have promised workers a job until 2021, when the franchise ends, with above-inflation pay rises and guaranteed levels of overtime.

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