More Rail Strikes Called
Posted by News Editor
Posted in News
The RMT Rail Union has today (Wednesday 20 January) confirmed further rail strikes in the New Year. The 24-hour action will take place in January, in a continuing row over Driver Only Operation.
In Hampshire, drivers on South Western Railways through Winchester and Island Line have been instructed to take 24-hour action on the 8th, 10th and 12th January 2018
Members on Southern have been instructed to take action on the 8th January 2018
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash says his members face little alternative: “Every single effort that RMT has made to reach negotiated settlements in these separate disputes with the different train operating companies over safe operation and safe staffing has been kicked back in our faces and we are left with no option but to confirm a further phase of industrial action in the New Year. No one should be in any doubt, these disputes are about putting the safety of the travelling public before the profits of the private train companies
“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. This suspension of normal industrial relations by the employers has to end if we are to make progress towards a solution that guarantees safe rail travel for all.”
He also accused the Government of interfering in the disputes: “Their influence is a factor in preventing the union from reaching negotiated settlements. With fare increases kicking in on the 2nd January it is outrageous that Theresa May and Chris Grayling are happy to stand aside and cheer on overseas rail companies that rip-off the British passenger with eye-watering fare increases to subsidise their domestic transport operations while throwing the guards off our trains.
“RMT is demanding today that the blockade on talks is lifted in these separate disputes to allow us to negotiate freely with the companies… if it’s good enough for Wales and Scotland to put safety first then it’s good enough for the rest of the UK.