RMT announces new strike dates on Southern Rail

Rush Hour At King's Cross Train Station
More disruption is on the cards for Southern Rail's customers (Source: Getty)

The RMT has announced that further strikes will take place on 7 and 8 September as part of their long-running dispute with Southern Rail.

General secretary of the RMT Mick Cash said:

This action has been forced on us by the arrogance and inaction of the Govia Thameslink and the government who have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute or in tackling the daily chaos on Southern.

Instead they have begun the process of bulldozing through the drive towards wholesale driver only operation without agreement and without any concern for the impact on safety, security and disability access.

Our fight is with the company and the government who have dragged this franchise into total meltdown. We share the anger and frustration of passengers.

Talks between Southern and the RMT broke down last week. An Acas spokesperson said: "Acas conciliation talks have ended without the sides reaching agreement. There are no further talks planned but our services remain available."

Read more: It's high time Southern Rail got its act together

Southern passenger service director Alex Foulds said today: “Passengers and staff will once again be appalled by the RMT’s decision to hold yet another strike. We are moving forward with our plans for the benefit of customers after nine months of fruitless attempts to reach an agreement.

“This action is unnecessary, unjustified and futile – we have guaranteed all our onboard staff a job until the end of the franchise, as valued members of our future operation, with no reduction in salary.

“And claims that safety is at risk are just untrue. The independent rail safety body has said so, and nearly half our trains run without conductors already.”

The news comes after a strike by the RMT on a number of lines earlier this month, including on Southern.

The decision by Southern to transfer control of doors to the driver – a concept familiar to millions of London Underground commuters – triggered the long-running dispute, which has seen staff sickness levels soar. Controversially, only 393 guards were balloted on the strike action.

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