Latest Rail News

23.08.16

Southern set for ‘unjustified’ 48-hour strike in September

Southern services will be disrupted yet again at the beginning of September as RMT announced it is holding another strike.

The union said it would instruct its members not to work between 7 and 8 September, as part of the ongoing dispute over Southern’s plans to introduce driver-only operated (DOO) services.

Disruptions on Southern are already so severe that the company has been forced to cancel 341 services a day, and its parent company, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), has had the worst PPM of any train company for three months running.

Alex Foulds, passenger services director at Southern, said passengers would be “appalled” by the “unnecessary, unjustified and futile” strikes.

RMT suspended a planned five-day strike earlier this month to re-enter talks with Southern, but these failed to reach an agreement.

Southern is now proceeding in introducing DOO services, which have been declared safe by the Rail Safety and Standards Branch.

Mick Cash, general secretary of RMT, said: “This action has been forced on us by the arrogance and inaction of the Govia Thameslink and the government who have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute or in tackling the daily chaos on Southern. Instead they have begun the process of bulldozing through the drive towards wholesale Driver Only Operation without agreement and without any concern for the impact on safety, security and disability access.

“Our fight is with the company and the government who have dragged this franchise into total meltdown. We share the anger and frustration of passengers and we cannot sit back while jobs and safety are compromised on these dangerously overcrowded trains.”

He said Southern and the government should “wake up” and resume negotiations “as an urgent priority”.

RMT is also planning a separate set of strikes in protest at ticket office closures across the Govia Thameslink Railway network. TSSA is currently balloting its members over whether to join them.

(Image c. Dominic Lipinski from PA Images)

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Comments

Jerry Alderson   23/08/2016 at 17:39

RTM wrote "Southern is now proceeding in introducing DOO services, which have been declared safe by the Rail Safety and Standards Branch." DCO (aka DOO+1) was due to be implemented on Sunday 21 August. Did it happen? How many trains have run a DCO?

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