More strikes called as Southern Rail dispute drags on

Rail union RMT has announced more strikes by its members as their long-running dispute with Southern Rail continues.

Commuters are facing delays
Commuters are facing delays

The union plans to strike in defence of the role of the guard, the extension of DOO and the guarantee of a second safety-critical member of staff on Southern services.

RMT’s council has considered this matter again today following what it says and due to the failure of both the Government and GTR to make any serious efforts to resolve the dispute it has instructed Southern guards and driver members not to book on for any shifts that commence between 0001 and 2359 on Monday, March 12.

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Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said: “RMT is bitterly disappointed that Southern Rail and the department for transport continue to reject our call for round table discussions involving all parties with an interest in resolving this dispute.

“RMT pays tribute to our Southern Rail guards and drivers who have stood firm for nearly two years now 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 union remains ready and waiting for genuine and meaningful talks with all parties.”

A spokesperson from Govia Thameslink Railway, parent company of Southern, said: “The RMT strike will have no impact on the vast majority of passengers as we expect to run a normal service on most routes.

“We renew our call for the union to end this pointless dispute. The RMT should face the reality that the changes they are objecting to were successfully introduced a year ago.”