South Western Railway and Greater Anglia workers to strike over Christmas holiday

Marco Green
December 14, 2017

South Western Railway (SWR) staff are set to take strike action on New Year's Eve due to disputes over the role of train guards and the safety of the public.

Both disputes are about the principle of driver-only operation and the future role of guards - which has sparked many strikes on Southern, GWR, Northern and Merseyrail over the past two years.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary, says the politician's position initially appeared to be that the Government was not opposed to a second person on trains in addition to a driver.

"We are hoping to resolve this dispute through discussions with RMT union officials".

"The company have made no serious effort at all to resolve those issues and our action goes ahead exactly as scheduled".

The two sides have been involved in an ongoing dispute over the use of guards on train, with the union urging SWR not to implement a "driver-only" policy where drivers would be exclusively responsible for making sure it is safe to close train doors. "Customers are advised to check before they travel using the Greater Anglia website or app", said Dean. We have guaranteed their jobs until the end of the franchise in October 2025. We will be aiming to run that revised service, but will confirm full details nearer the time.

Transport Focus revealed this week that passengers are also being sold tickets without any warning that their journeys will be disrupted by engineering work.

Union bosses were accused of "playing Scrooge" yesterday after announcing strikes aimed at causing disruption to rail passengers over Christmas. "However, rail companies will keep passengers moving and the majority of services will run as planned".

RMT chiefs say at the heart of the dispute is their demand of an equal offer for other members that has already been received by drivers.

The ballot for strike action by rail staff, including train managers, on-board catering, clerical and retail employees was supported by nine to one. "We urge the union to show some Christmas spirit and call off this disruptive strike".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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