RMT Strike Action on SWR – reaction
Posted by News Editor
Posted in News
Reaction to the planned RMT strike action on SWR through Winchester in early November has been swift and damning. Yesterday, the RMT’s General Secretary Mick Cash claimed the RMT Union has made every effort to reach negotiated settlements: “It is frankly ludicrous that we have been able to negotiate long-term arrangements in Scotland and Wales that protect the guards and passenger safety but we are being denied the same opportunities with rail companies in England.
Winchester’s MP Steve Brine gave this reaction to Winchester Today “My constituents will despair at this news, as do I. This strike has nothing to do with safety on our trains or jobs, it’s about politics and the RMT wanting to undermine a democratically elected Government. They will fail and the only losers in this will be the travelling public who pay too much to be drawn into this self indulgent nonsense.
“I urge the sensible, moderate people working for SWR to do what they know is right and demand their union get back round the table and sort this out as they had been doing with much success in recent weeks I understand.”
The news comes barely three months into SWR’s franchise, and a South Western Railway spokesperson gave this reaction to Winchester Today: “We are extremely disappointed that the RMT has announced dates for this unnecessary and disruptive strike rather than working with us to find a solution to their problem. No-one wants this, least of all our passengers and staff who will be the ones to suffer.
“We would like to assure our customers that should this strike go ahead, we have contingency plans in place and we will do everything we can to minimise disruption to their journeys.
“This action is both premature and unnecessary. We have not yet made a decision on how best to operate our new fleet of trains – trains that are not due to be in service for two years, and the way forward is to discuss how we operate them for the benefit of our passengers with our employees, and the union.
“RMT bosses aren’t acting in the best interests of its members on the ground in SWR, who have said that our recent discussions have been open and productive. We urge the union to get back around the table to further discuss the issue so we can all agree on a way forward.”
Members on Southern, Greater Anglia, South Western Railways and Island Line have been instructed not to book on for any shifts between 00.01 hours on Wednesday 8th November and 23.59 hours on Thursday 9th November.