Southern Rail Five Day Strike

Hundreds of trains cancelled amidst biggest walk out since 1968

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The RMT union is to conduct a five-day walkout due to conflicts with parent firm Govia Thameslink (GTR).

GTR intends to use new trains where drivers, as opposed to guards, open and close train doors using CCTV, sparking job loss fears for the guards and concerns over passenger safety. Before announcing the strike, the RMT engaged in negotiation talks with GTR which broke down.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, said “it was clear right from the start of these talks that there was no serious intent from Govia Thameslink to engage in genuine negotiations and that their script was being written from behind the scenes by their government paymasters.

The strike, which began today at 00:01 will end Friday 23:59, will be the longest railway strike since 1968. Southern is now only running only 60% of its usual timetable, having lost 15% of its trains.

The disruption to commuters has been immense, with passengers at Brighton railway station protesting against three-four hour journeys.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said “thousands of Londoners and longer-distance commuters will face further disruption as a result of this strike action. The government should accept Sadiq’s offer of putting a senior team from Transports for London in charge of the GTE Southern franchise until we get a permanent solution.”

Paul Maynard, Rail Minister, said “this strike action from the RMT will do nothing other than cause yet more disruption and daily misery for passengers. It is deeply disappointing that the union bosses continue to overlook the impact they are having on the travelling public, and I strongly condemn this proposed action. There have been many issues with Southern Rail in recent months – but a strike like this helps no one.”

 

 

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