Conductors’ union calls for ‘urgent discussions’ after Southern Rail’s deal with drivers

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Conductors’ union RMT has called for ‘urgent discussions’ with Southern Rail following yesterday’s deal with drivers’ union ASLEF.

Govia Thameslink Railway is in the process of rolling out driver only operation trains on Southern services, with conductors transferred to the role of on-board supervisors.

RMT was the first of the two train staff unions to go on strike in a dispute that has lasted almost a year.

General secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT understands that central to the agreement with ASLEF is a guarantee of a second person ‎on the train.

“We also understand that the implementation of that aspect of the agreement is subject to further discussions and negotiations with RMT around the safety competencies of that second member of staff.

“It is now essential that we open up urgent ‎discussions with GTR around this core issue of the second safety-critical staff member, and the details of their future role, that will allow us all to move forwards.

“RMT is available for those talks with immediate effect.”

Driver union ASLEF has said it will ballot its 930 Southern Rail members on whether or not to accept the deal.

Ballot papers will be dispatched today and returned by February 16.

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