Latest Rail News

15.05.17

Southern and RMT return to negotiating table

Talks between Southern and RMT are set to resume today in the latest attempt to resolve the bitter and long-lasting dispute between the operator and the union, which has already resulted in 31 days’ worth of strikes.

Both parties met in April but, after talks broke down, the RMT confirmed that it would walk out once again on 8 April.

The union’s leader, Mick Cash, reiterated that he was still available for “meaningful talks”, but none in the last 12 months have been capable of putting an end to the row.

Passenger group Brighton Line Commuters told the BBC that it welcomed today’s fresh talks, but was sceptical that anything would come of it – and argued the dispute “should have been sorted out many months ago”.

Shelley Atlas, who runs the group, said people have got used to the situation by now, with many making alternative arrangements to get to and from work – especially since several people reportedly lost their jobs due to repeated industrial action.

Overall, almost 60,000 Southern services were cancelled last year, averaging  161 trains per day across the network.

A separate meeting between the TOC and drivers’ union Aslef is scheduled for later this week. Its members recently rejected a new deal with the operator by a margin of just 26 votes, despite the union’s executive having recommended the fresh proposals.

(Top image c. Nick Ansell/PA Wire)

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