More Industrial Action Ahead on Southern Rail

RMT confirm three day strike in the first week of October

Another round of strikes is in prospect for Southern Rail commuters with the announcement by the RMT of new dates for industrial action.

The union has instructed Southern guards and driver members not to book on for any shifts that commence between Tuesday 3 October and Thursday 5 October. The action is timed to coincide with the Conservative party conference.

The union claim that Southern’s plans to allow some trains to continue to run if a guard is not available compromise safety on trains. GTR (who own the Southern franchise) and the Department for Transport say that all the available evidence suggests that driver only operated trains do no compromise safety. Removing the requirement for a guard to be on all trains is likely to significantly reduce the amount of cancellations on the network.

Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said, “RMT is bitterly disappointed that Southern Rail and the DFT continue to reject our call for round table discussions involving all parties with an interest in resolving this dispute. The failure to get those talks moving following our face to face meeting with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has left us no option but to call further action.

“RMT pays tribute to our Southern Rail guards and drivers who have stood firm for 18 months in the fight for rail safety despite outrageous abuse and intimidation from the company. They are a credit to their communities and to the whole trade union movement as they continue to take action for safety in Britain’s longest running industrial dispute.”

The last industrial action took place on Southern between 1 and 4 September. Southern management say that they managed to bring 90% of trains into operation that day but advise using live update services to check how trains are running should the strike proceed.

September 20, 2017