Southern strike suspended after Manchester attack

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SUS-160712-111231001

Southern staff have suspended a planned rail strike in light of last night’s attack in Manchester.

Greater Manchester Police has confirmed that 22 people died and at least 59 people injured after an explosion outside an Ariana Grande concert last night.

Since last April the RMT union has organised walkouts in response to Govia Thameslink Railway’s proposals to introduce driver-only operation on Southern trains, with its latest day of action planned for Tuesday May 30.

Today Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “In light of the horrific bombing in Manchester last night, and the heightened safety and security alerts on our transport services, RMT’s executive has taken the decision to suspend the 24 hours of strike action scheduled for Tuesday 30th May on Merseyrail, Northern Rail and Southern Rail.

“Our thoughts and solidarity at this time are with the people of Manchester.”

In response a Southern spokesman said: “This is an appropriate response by the RMT to the tragedy in Manchester. We thank them for taking this step.”

As part of the changes drivers are responsible for opening and closing train doors, while conductors are transferred to the role of on-board supervisors.

The union has raised safety concerns about the potential loss of a second safety-critical member of staff on services.

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