Southern Rail engineers to go on five-day strike

Catherine Neilan
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Southern Rail: Your commute is about to get worse (Source: Getty)
Engineers working for Southern Rail are planning to stage a five day strike from 12th July, RMT has confirmed.
The action has been scheduled to start at 4:59pm on Sunday 12th July and will run until the same time on Friday 17th July. Members have also been instructed not to work any overtime between 10th July and 12th July.
The transport union claimed there had been a "comprehensive breakdown in industrial relations with the company”.
It balloted members in June after management “ignored the wishes of our members and unilaterally imposed a new roster making a mockery of the negotiating process and agreed procedures” as well as the introduction of a new project that is “putting our engineering grade members under extreme pressure to work faster to meet the set times for specific tasks”.
“Management's approach to the implantation of the project is both intimidatory and aggressive,” the union said at the time.
The union is also seeking to reduce the working week from 39 hours to 35, but “Southern has refused take the union’s submission for a shorter working week seriously”.
General secretary Mick Cash this morning said: “RMT will not stand by while agreed policies, procedures and agreements are unilaterally ripped up by Southern and promises on the reduction in the working week are kicked aside despite increases in productivity through the Lean project. As a result we declared a dispute and our engineering grades have now delivered a massive vote for industrial action and that programme of strikes and overtime bans will begin next week.
“In all of this, management have failed to show our members the respect they deserve as skilled and dedicated workers. We have made every effort to talk to the company about these issues, but have got nowhere. The only option we have is to use industrial action."
“Southern is a company intensively under the spotlight over its performance at the moment and RMT will not have our members left unrewarded as they hit work targets and then face a barrage of attacks on working conditions and procedures. RMT remains available for talks.”
A Southern spokesman said: “We are disappointed that the RMT has decided to take this action at this time in the franchise, especially as we have been having meaningful talks with the Union throughout this process about the issues raised."
Separately RMT is planning strike action on First Great Western over cuts to jobs, services and safety
The 48-hour strike will take place between 6:30pm on 8th July and 6.29pm on 10th July.

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