The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers have defended their decision to hold a 14-day strike across Southern Rail’s routes.
The strike is set to cause serious disruption in several boroughs across London, including Lewisham and Croydon. The dispute between MPs and the RMT about the move to more Driver Only Operation (DOO) trains remains bitterly divided.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash warned the proposal for increased DOO trains could put commuters’ lives at risk. He argued that the derailment of a train in Watford last week (which involved two trains) highlighted the need for train guards.
Cash explained that “the guards on both trains played a vital role in protecting the passengers and the trains in what were extremely frightening circumstances. If the train had been DOO and without a guard the consequences would have been far worse.”
Tory MP Chris Philp, whose Croydon South constituents will be badly hit by the walkouts said he “unreservedly” disapproved of the RMT strikes.
He added: “No one is losing their job, no one’s pay is getting cut and there are no safety issues — as confirmed by the independent Rail Safety Standards Board.”
Members of the RMT plan to strike on the following dates:
- Tuesday 11 October to Thursday 13 October
- Tuesday 18 October to Thursday 20 October
- Thursday 3 November to Saturday 5 November
- Tuesday 22 November and Wednesday 23 November
- Tuesday 6 December to Thursday 8 December
Keep updated on the strike’s developments through the following links:
Southern Rail’s website: http://www.southernrailway.com
Twitter hashtag: #RMTStrikeSN