Passengers on Southern Rail will face further travel disruption after the RMT union announced that it will hold a five day strike starting from 00.01 on 8th August and finishing at 23.59 on Friday 12th August.
These strikes are just the most recent exchange in the continued dispute over the service operator Govia Thameslink’s decision to change conductors’ jobs. Changes that mean that guards will “no longer in charge of opening and closing doors” could, according to the union, puts Southern Rail passengers at risk of injury.
RMT Union has stated that Southern and the Government’s “point blank refusal” to adequately “engage with the union” has forced them to this industrial action as the 21st August deadline is “ticking closer”.
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, recently suggested that the rail operator should be stripped of its franchise after employers and commuters complained that the constant delays were putting jobs at risk.
The RMT offered a three-month cessation of all strikes so long as the company similarly agreed to “suspend their proposals and allow space for talks to take place.”
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “This action has been forced on us by the arrogance and inaction of 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.”
“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.”
“It is disgraceful that neither the company or the Government are prepared to engage and are looking to bully through the extension of DOO and the attack on the guards set for 21st August. They should wake up and get round the table now as an urgent priority.”