Latest Rail News

27.04.16

Southern and RMT enter talks to resolve driver-only trains dispute

Southern has urged RMT to call off further conductors’ strikes over plans to expand driver operated only (DOO) trains as the two sides prepared to negotiate.

Yesterday’s strikes led to 700 trains being cancelled, standing room only on all routes and crowding at Clapham Junction and services between East Croydon and London Victoria.

Dyan Crowther, chief operating officer at Southern, urged RMT to call off further strikes, which are due to run for 24 hours from 11am on 10 and 12 May, after the union agreed to enter talks on Friday.

Crowther said: “This action is completely unnecessary. No staff would lose their jobs under our proposals or see a reduction in their salary, whilst passengers would benefit by having more visible staff on trains.

“We remain committed to our proposals – they are the right thing to do for our passengers and the right thing to do for the future of a modernised railway.”

Crowther added that Southern had written to RMT four times in the past three weeks to try to resolve the issue.

During the strike Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, praised the “solid and united” action by union members, who voted 78% in favour of the strike, saying they were supported by the public and would force Southern to enter into “serious and meaningful talks”.

He added: “This dispute is about defending safety critical jobs and services against the drive for cash-driven cuts that would see those services hacked to ribbons.”

Another union, Aslef, was forced to back down over similar strikes on the Gatwick Express line this week after Southern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway obtained a High Court injunction forcing Aslef members to resume driving trains.

(Image of Clapham Junction c. Dominic Lipinski from PA Images)

Comments

GW   29/04/2016 at 14:27

How many drivers have either been taken ill or died in their cabs over the past 5 years? Who helps the passengers when this happens?

Andrew Gwilt   03/05/2016 at 00:31

What GW has said. I do agree.

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