Threat of driver-only trains causes more strike action on the Southern service

RMT union announce strike for next month Pic: Matt Buck (Flickr)

The RMT union has announced further strike for March      Pic: Matt Buck (Flickr)

The Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has announced that guards and drivers working for the Southern service via Croydon will strike yet again against the proposal of driver-only trains.

The industrial action will take place on Monday March 13 and result in severe delays and cancellation of trains to and from South East London. The workers will stage a walkout for 24 hours to show their unity against the policy for a change in staffing on board trains.

The issue has been in constant debate since 2016 and the strike will not be the first to hit the estimated 300,000 people who use the Southern line each day to commute to the capital from the south coast. The RMT has expressed its concerns stating that the Southern service has not made clear their stand about a second security personnel being on board the trains.

RMT general secretary, Mick Cash said: “The abject failure by Southern Rail to meet with us, to clarify their exact position on the second safety-critical member of staff and to take the safety issues seriously has left us with no option but to confirm further action.”

Southern has responded by stating their disappointment at the plan to organise and carry out another strike in March.

A Southern service spokesperson said: “We asked the RMT executive to suspend any further action when they met today so that talks could take place, instead they have chosen to put their members through even more pointless industrial action.”

Southern Railway officials have also questioned the authenticity of the stand being taken by the RMT officials. Southern has revealed that the conductors on board the service earn a further commission over the tickets they sell on board. This led to Southern capping the commission margin to 50 pence for every ticket sold from New Years Day.

The decision to strike came as a result of a stalled meeting between the RMT union and the Govia Thameslink Railway (GMT) – the parent company of the Southern Railway System.




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