South Western Railway row continues with four days of RMT industrial action starting from tomorrow

 
Rebecca Smith
SWR runs commuter services from Waterloo
SWR runs commuter services from Waterloo (Source: Getty)

A bitter row on South Western Railway continues with the latest industrial action planned by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union set to get underway tomorrow.

The union said today action will go ahead as the row over the role of the guard remains unresolved, saying the firm did not engage with the union this week for talks.

From tomorrow, all guards, commercial guards and train driver members have been instructed not to work any rest days until the end of Monday 19 February.

Read more: Week of rail misery kicks off with strikes across five train firms

The RMT's general secretary Mick Cash said: “It is frankly disgraceful that South Western Railway continue to point-blank refuse to engage with the union in meaningful talks over their plans to run trains without a safety-critical guard on board across this franchise."

He added:

It is the continuing intransigent attitude of the company which means that the industrial action goes ahead as planned from tomorrow in an effort to force them to see sense and to drive them back to the negotiating table for genuine and meaningful talks.

SWR runs commuter services from the UK's busiest station - Waterloo. Later this year, an £800m upgrade will be completed to bolster capacity at the station by 30 per cent at peak times, with the reopening of the former Waterloo International Terminal.

Travel information

SWR has said it plans to run its full service despite the disruption from the industrial action, but has recommended passengers check before they travel.

A spokesperson said the firm will do "everything we can to minimise the effect on passengers".

SWR added that during industrial action, it will use its team of trained contingency guards where necessary to deliver the service.

The company says it has offered "repeated assurances" that it will guarantee jobs, salaries and terms and conditions of guards.

It does not expect services to be impacted on the days either side of the industrial action.

Read more: TfL fears over travel changes causing drag on passenger numbers

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