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RMT attacks GTR over performance and bonuses ahead of strike

RMT has attacked Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) for its performance problems as it prepares to lead further strikes tomorrow on Southern, one of GTR’s companies.

RMT confirmed that the 24-hour strike over the introduction of driver-operated only (DOO) services, following two previous strikes, is set to go ahead.

The union also said that GTR’s service performance is “at an all-time low”, posting a screenshot of GTR’s daily PPM figures from Friday which showed that Southern Mainline’s PPM was at 41.59%

Mick Cash, general secretary of RMT, said: “Gatwick Express used to be the star performer on Britain's railways. GTR have now turned it into the worst and trying to blame the staff for that is both cowardly and cynical.

“We have no option but to strike to stop the attempt to drive the guards off the Southern services.”

However, in the most recent PPM figures, from Sunday, Southern Mainline is at 70.07%.

On 13 June, rail minister Claire Perry said in response to a parliamentary question that GTR has paid £2m in fines for performance shortfalls since 2014, which RMT said was less than the combined pay of GTR’s chief executive David Brown and finance director Keith Down.

Services are expected to be cancelled on the following services:

  • Clapham Junction to Milton Keynes via Kensington Olympia
  • Dorking to Horsham
  • Oxted to Uckfield
  • Haywards Heath to Lewes
  • Preston Park to Hove
  • Lewes to Seaford
  • Eastbourne to Ashford International via Hastings (Southeastern services will operate between St Leonards Warrior Square and Hastings as normal)
  • Chichester to Havant / Portsmouth Harbour and Southampton Central (South West Trains and Great Western Railway services will operate between Havant and Portsmouth Harbour / Southampton Central as normal)
  • Redhill to Tonbridge
  • Redhill to Reigate (Great Western Railway services will operate on this route as normal)
  • Earlswood, Salfords and Faygate stations will not be served

Rail services will be hit by two lots of strikes tomorrow, as RMT will also be leading strikes over DOO north of the border on ScotRail lines.

RMT contacted GTR for a statement but it did not respond at the time of publication.

For more information about the impact of the strikes, click here.

(Image c. Rui Vieira from PA Wire)

4.45pm UPDATE

Southern released a statement calling the strike "completely unnecessary". It said that the changes will not lead to job losses and that 40% of Southern services are already operating safely under DOO.

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Neil Palmer   21/06/2016 at 03:05

It's a bit much the RMT criticizing GTR for performance issues when a large part of the problem is due to the RMT's "call in sick" nonsense, in addition to their totally pointless strikes over DOO. One wonders what specific type of mild-altering drugs the RMT leadership are on because they certainly don't seem to perceive reality the way GTR and the VAST majority of passengers do. I can't wait for the day they have a statue of Mick Cash in a museum here he and his fellow Luddites belong.

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