Saturday 21 January 2017

Southern Railways To Be Affected From More Strikes

Southern Railways

The RMT said its members would be taking action because it has been excluded from talks between ASLEF and the company.

Guards will walk out for 24 hours on Monday and a small number of RMT members who drive Southern trains will strike on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday next week.

The strikes are part of the union's long-running dispute over the introduction of driver-only trains.

Southern, which announced this week it would restore a "full train service" from next Tuesday, said only 12 drivers were involved and its aim to return to normal on 24 January would be unaffected.

And it said it would be able to run 70% of its trains on Monday - 10% more of its normal timetable than it has been able to operate on previous guard strike days.

The promise to return to normal service on Tuesday followed drivers' union ASLEF agreeing to suspend three planned strikes and lift a drivers' overtime ban.

It is due to hold talks with the train operator under the co-chairmanship of the TUC.

Hundreds of thousands of passengers have been hit by months of disruption because of industrial action, staff shortages and other issues.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT demands again today that this union be given access to exactly the same talks process in our Southern Rail disputes as has been brokered for our sister union by the TUC.

"We would remind all parties that not only is RMT a recognised drivers' union on Southern but that it is also our guards members who have made huge personal sacrifices in the long fight for passenger safety.

"The notion that some sort of deal can be done which leaves those Southern guards out in the cold is ludicrous.

"As a result of our exclusion from the talks process set up by the TUC and the Government both our guards and drivers' action remains on next week and we demand and expect a positive response to our fresh demand for a seat at the negotiating table."

A Southern spokesman said: "The talks that are now taking place under the auspices of the TUC are as a result of a suggestion by ASLEF, which we welcomed and accepted in order to find a way to end their drivers' dispute.

"As we have stated, we are happy to have formal talks with the RMT too when they're ready to do so, and lines of communication with them are open.

"In the meantime, to show good faith, we would ask them to follow ASLEF's lead and suspend their one-day conductors' strike planned for next Monday."



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