The general secretary of the RMT met with the Transport Secretary yesterday for what he described as ‘a full and frank exchange’.
Mick Cash, General Secretary of RMT, accepted an invitation to meet with Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for transport, earlier this week.
After the meeting yesterday afternoon (Friday, July 21), Mr Cash said in a statement: “RMT has met with Chris Grayling this afternoon and we have had a full and frank exchange and views and the Secretary of State has now had an opportunity to get a clear understanding of RMT’s position on Southern Rail and the broader issue of how the extension of DOO impacts nationally on other rail franchises.
“RMT will supply Mr Grayling with a copy of the unions clear and viable proposals for resolving the Southern dispute and the Secretary of State has agreed to meet us again.
“We will also be seeking further meetings with Southern and the other train companies as we seek to move forwards in the interests of safe and accessible rail services for all.
“Finally the Secretary of state agreed that we would also have further discussions regarding our concerns in respect of of the loss of skilled rail jobs as a result of the scaling back of Network Rails renewals programme.”
The RMT suspended the industrial strike for guards which had been planned for Tuesday, August 1, and a driver strike planned for Tuesday, August 1, Wednesday, August 2, and Friday, August 4, after being invited to meet with Mr Grayling.
ASLEF has also accepted an offer to meet with Mr Grayling to discuss a resolution to the Southern Rail dispute and has suspended its planned industrial action, including an overtime ban, in order to allow talks to go ahead.