The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said support for industrial action was ‘solid’ on Wednesday morning, on the first day of a two-day strike by conductors on Southern Rail services.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘Reports from all locations this morning confirm that the strike action is rock solid and determined again across the Southern Rail network as we fight to put rail safety and access before the profits of the failed Govia Thameslink operation. Just a fraction of the £100 million in cash hoarded by this outfit could keep the guards on the trains, keep the trains safe and resolve this dispute.
DPAC campaigners join the RMT picket line at Victoria
'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.'
RMT members on the picket line at London’s Victoria Station this morning were joined by campaigners from Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC).
The union said it supported DPAC claims that Govia Thameslink’s plans to change the role of conductors (guards) and station staff represent an offence under the Equality Act 2010 by making it more difficult for disabled people to travel.
Southern said the strike action would have a significant effect on services on the whole of both days, with no service on many routes and only a limited service between approximately 07.30 and 18.00 on others, ‘though we will extend the services hours if we are able’.
On Monday the company said it expected to run almost 60% of its normal full timetable, which represents almost 65% of the reduced timetable it introduced in July.