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Southern Rail workers have announced their 32nd day of strike action

PUBLISHED: 11:59 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:59 17 May 2017

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Southern trains

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The strike action will last 24-hours

Workers at Southern Rail are set to take their 32nd day of strike action in the year-long dispute over driver-only trains.

Guards and drivers who are members of the RMT union will stage a 24-hour walkout on Tuesday, May 30.

The RMT claims passenger safety is at risk over driver-only operation, while Southern Rail claims services would only have one member on board “in exceptional circumstances”.

Mick Cash, general secretary at the rail workers’ union, said: “RMT members on Southern Rail have been fighting for safety and access to rail services for over a year now. We have met with the company but there is a massive gap of over 8000 trains a year that GTR have confirmed will run without an on board supervisor.

“That represents a serious safety and accessibility risk and short of the guarantee of a second safety qualified member of staff on Southern services we have no option but to confirm a further day of strike action.

“It is now down to Southern/GTR, and the contract holders in the government, to face up to their responsibilities and engage in genuine and serious talks that address our issues.”

During the last strike, Southern managed to run 95 per cent of its services.

The rail firm, ranked bottom in the country for customer satisfaction, currently runs Metro services in Beckenham and trains from Ashford International to Brighton and Tonbridge to Redhill.

A spokesperson from the rail firm, said: “While we assign on-board supervisors to each train that previously had a conductor, on occasions this may not be possible.

“In this situation we would rather run the service than cancel it.

“Southern is running 25,000 services a month using this extended method of operation. This is in addition to the tens of thousands of services that already run this way across the GTR network.

“Both Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Railways at the Office of Rail and Road, and the Rail Safety and Standards Board state that this driver-controlled method of operation is safe.”

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