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Southern workers plan even more strike action up to December

PUBLISHED: 14:36 22 September 2016 | UPDATED: 09:36 23 September 2016

Southern

Southern

Archant

It follows a row over the role train drivers

Workers on Southern Rail are planning two weeks worth of strike action between October and December, it has been revealed.

Rail Union RMT said workers have been ‘forced to take industrial action’ as it announced a series of strikes in the ongoing feud over the introduction of driver-only trains.

All-day strike action is due to take place on the following dates:

October 11 - 13 and 18 - 20,

November 3 - 5, 22 and 23,

December 6 - 8.

Services from Ashford to Hastings and Tonbridge to Redhill are set to be affected by the action.

“Govia Thameslink and the government have made it clear they have no interest in resolving this dispute” said RMT general secretary Mick Cash.

“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.”

“Last week there was a train derailment near Watford that involved two trains. The Guards on both trains played a vital role in protecting the passengers and the trains in what were extremely frightening circumstances. If the train had been DOO and without a Guard the consequences would have been far worse.”

Commenting on the RMT’s latest round of strike dates, Angie Doll, GTR’s passenger services director, said:

“The RMT’s desire to heap yet further travel misery on the public and affect the everyday lives of so many people is shameful.

“A comprehensive and fair offer has been on the table for weeks and the union leadership’s claims about jobs, pay, safety are trumped-up make believe. This scaremongering by the RMT union is a contrived attempt to gain public support when it knows its spurious arguments about jobs, pay, accessibility and safety have been demolished by independent experts and analysis and are falling on deaf ears.

“As a responsible operator, our priority is to make our services more accessible, not less, and we will not be shaken in that commitment. We care deeply about those of our customers who are less mobile and help thousands of elderly and disabled customers week in, week out, to travel with us. We will do everything we can to ensure those needing help getting on and off our trains receive our care and attention to get them where they want to be, promptly and hassle-free.

“We’ve always said we are ready, willing and able to sit down and discuss how best we implement our modernisation plans and give our customers the services they expect and deserve. The RMT has to stop being the problem and get on board - finally - and be part of the solution. Everyone is sick and tired of the union’s posturing and it has to stop, and stop now. It’s what the public want.”

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