Southern urges RMT to call off rail strikes as talks announced for Friday

Rail news SUS-150617-143452001

Rail news SUS-150617-143452001

Southern has welcomed the RMT’s decision to sit down to talks this Friday and is urging the union to call off the next wave of conductors’ strikes, which it says will disrupt 600,000 passengers for four days from May 10-13.

Chief Operating Officer Dyan Crowther said: “We have written to the RMT four times in the past three weeks and the union has at last agreed to talk to us, this Friday. In advance of that meeting, we urge them to call off the next set of damaging strikes.

“This action is completely unnecessary. No staff would lose their jobs under our proposals or see a reduction in their salary, whilst passengers would benefit by having more visible staff on trains.

“We remain committed to our proposals – they are the right thing to do for our passengers and the right thing to do for the future of a modernised railway.”

However, a statement on the RMT website from Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, says: “RMT has said right from the outset that this dispute is about safety and the safety-critical role of the guards on Southern trains. The company, with an eye on ever-fatter profits, is prepared to axe the guards on some of the most overcrowded and potentially-dangerous services in Britain so that they can squeeze every last penny out of their passengers regardless of the consequences. That is a lethal gamble with safety in the name of profit and that is why we have been forced to take strike action today.”

Although the strike officially ended at 11am this morning, train services across the Southern network are subject to disruption all day as a result of the industrial action.

Southern has given the following update:

Approximately two-thirds of our services are running today, successfully to the revised timetable – 1,400 out of the usual 2,100.

Trains have been full and standing.

Passenger crowds were greater at East Croydon station this morning than yesterday. Southern addressed the problem by stopping nine Gatwick Express trains with spare capacity at the station. This also relieved crowding on trains stopping at stations further north of East Croydon, between Selhurst and London Victoria

Clapham Junction was busier today; queuing systems were put in place.

Services in the Metro area, which do not have a conductor, ran as near normal

Most trains are running as normal to and from Brighton

Some routes off the mainline are either suspended or running with a reduced service. These will run until the end of the day and not finish early as yesterday – see National Rail journey planners

For information on services go to http://www.southernrailway.com/

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