Bad news, commuters: Southern Rail conductors have just voted for a strike

 
Catherine Neilan
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Bad news, Southern Rail commuters: conductors working for the train operator have voted in favour of a strike over staff shortages.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said 70 per cent of staff balloted on the issue voted for the action to take place.

The ballot result will now be considered by RMT’s executive, before a date for the strike is decided.

Staff are fighting against three key areas: Southern Rail's failure to deal with rostering issues raised by the union despite prolonged negotiations, its "abuse" of the Conductors Restructuring Agreement and insufficient establishment levels to cover work.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The staffing shortages on Southern are a disgrace and are creating daily problems. Our members have now shown just how angry they are in this magnificent ballot result which will now be considered by the union’s executive.

"This is a vital and lucrative franchise where commuters pay thousands of pounds a year to travel on services that are chronically under-staffed and RMT members have had enough of it.

“This union will not sit back while staffing levels are pared to the bone on rail franchises and our members run ragged solely in the interests of private company profits.

“RMT remains available for further talks and we hope that in light of this ballot result the company will now see sense.”