Thursday 20 October 2016 12:52 pm

Planned Southern rail strike on 3 November suspended - following a request from the British Legion

A Southern rail strike planned for 3 November has been suspended following a request from the British Legion.

Southern workers were originally planning to strike on 3 November, as part of a long-running industrial dispute over the role of train guards.

However, 3 November is the date of this year's London Poppy Day, which sees thousands of uniformed personnel, from the Royal Navy, Army, RAF and their supporters collecting at tube and mainline railway stations from 7am until the evening rush hour.

"This decision has been made after close consideration and following a personal request from the British Legion," said RMT general secretary Mick Cash.

"The union recognises the very special importance of that particular day and as result has agreed to suspend the action planned for 3 November. The rest of the scheduled action goes ahead‎ as planned."

Southern owner Govia Thameslink is in talks with the Aslef and RMT unions to avert eight days of strikes – now seven – due to take place over the next few months, after the company unveiled plans to introduce trains operated entirely by drivers. That means conductors will no longer have responsibility to operate doors, which the unions argue is dangerous.

Before RMT announced that it was suspending action on 3 November, the planned strike dates were as follows:

Dates No. of days
3-5 November 3
22-23 November 2
6-8 December 3

Earlier today Southern said it was restoring 63 services to its timetable, after cutting almost 350 services a day – 15 per cent of its timetable – back in July.