Protest marks one year of Southern Rail's battle with drivers - and commuters

Talks will aim to resolve the Southern dispute
Talks will aim to resolve the Southern dispute
Author

13 May, 2017

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union had been due to walk out on Friday and Saturday in a dispute over the role of guards and other issues.

"If the German state-owned Arriva get away with their plans we will end up with a toxic combination of de-staffed trains and stations where safety and access are compromised while fat profits are shipped across the Channel to subsidise rail operations in Germany".

Arriva Rail North, which operates Northern, said very few trains would run outside 07:00 and 19:00 and urged passengers to check its strike timetable in order to plan their journeys.

The majority of these services are expected to run between 7am and 7pm.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "From day one this dispute has been about defending the principle of a safe and accessible railway for all and retaining that second safety-critical member of staff on Southern Rail services".

Northern stated it was "disappointing" that RMT would not budge from its position during talks, as deputy managing director Richard Allan said: "It is hugely disappointing that RMT is making demands rather than working with us to develop our plans". We are angry and frustrated that Arriva have thrown out a perfectly reasonable proposal to invite the DfT to join us in three way talks aimed at finding a solution.

The RMT has blamed Northern for the disruption after talks to avert the strike failed.

It is that flagrant disregard for the safety issues at the heart of the dispute which leaves us with no option but to put on this further day of strike action.

But there will be hardly any trains running after 7 tonight.

However the operator says it will run as many services as it can and replacement buses will be in operation where possible.

"Our employees want us to talk about changes we need to make to the on-board role as we modernise our railway".


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