More strikes planned by RMT as dispute with Southern Rail goes on

PUBLISHED: 16:21 23 August 2016 | UPDATED: 09:50 24 August 2016




The RMT and Southern Rail both abandoned talks to reach an agreement

Workers at Southern Rail are set to take another two days of strike action following an ongoing dispute with the company over the changing roles of rail guards.

The rail workers union RMT had organised five days of strike action starting from August 15, but midway through the industrial action, the union and GTR, which runs Southern, met for talks.

But with both sides failing to reach an agreement, further strikes have been planned for September 7 and 8.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “This action has been forced on us by the arrogance and inaction of Govia Thameslink and the government who have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute or in tackling the daily chaos on Southern.

“Instead they have begun the process of bulldozing through the drive towards wholesale driver-only-operation without agreement and without any concern for the impact on safety, security and disability access.”

Southern passenger service director Alex Foulds said: “Passengers and staff will once again be appalled by the RMT’s decision to hold yet another strike. We are moving forward with our plans for the benefit of customers after nine months of fruitless attempts to reach an agreement.

“This action is unnecessary, unjustified and futile – we have guaranteed all our onboard staff a job until the end of the franchise, as valued members of our future operation, with no reduction in salary.

“And claims that safety is at risk are just untrue. The independent rail safety body has said so, and nearly half our trains run without conductors already.”

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