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29.04.16

Southern and RMT strike talks fall apart

Talks between RMT and Southern to try to halt strikes in May over the expansion of driver-operated only (DOO) trains fell apart today, with both sides claiming the other walked out.

RMT and Southern agreed to talk after a conductors’ strike on Tuesday led to 700 trains being cancelled.

The failure of the talks led to strong words on both sides.

A spokesperson for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), Southern’s parent company, said: “We came here for serious constructive talks but sadly the RMT was not prepared to discuss details of the new role. This is a snub to every commuter on the Southern network who now seem condemned to four more days of strikes early next month.”

GTR said talks fell apart after the RMT refused to agree with principles for discussion tabled by GTR or to offer any alternatives.

They repeated their previous statement that allowing drivers to operate train doors is safe and that no conductors will be made redundant or face a cut in salary.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, said Southern management had “collapsed” the talks and undermined them by sending out a form asking RMT members to give an undertaking that they would not take part in further strikes.

He said RMT members should “bin” the form and added: “Southern/GTR management are now stooping so low during this dispute that their actions are not only contemptible but would also be laughable if this dispute was not so serious.”

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

Comments

Andrew Gwilt   03/05/2016 at 00:25

It has not been such a good few weeks for GTR and for RMT.

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