South Western Railway facing 27 days of strikes next month

 

Rail union RMT is set to take 27 days of strike action this December on South Western Railway (SWR) over the familiar issue of driver controlled operation.

The union said it had sought assurances that SWR's new operational model won't move to driver controlled operation – with the role of the train guard taken away.

A similar issue led to a long-running and bitter dispute with the Southern (Govia Thameslink Railway) operator.

RMT accused SWR of 'dangling a potential breakthrough deal in front' of them but then failing to honour it and offering no reasons for the delay.

SWR was approached for comment.

The union has instructed guards, commercial guards and driver members to take the following strike action:-

  • Not to book on for duty from 00:01 on Monday 2nd December 2019 until 23:59 on Wednesday 11th December
  • Not to book on for duty from 00:01 on Friday 13th December until 23:59 on Tuesday 24th December 2019
  • Not to book on duty from 00:01 on Friday 27th December 2019 until 23:59 on the 1st January 2020

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: 'At the last meeting we held with SWR principles in agreements were made in good faith with the company’s negotiating team and we now feel hugely let down again. As long as the company continues to refuse to give assurances on the future operational role of the guard we will remain in dispute.

'I want to congratulate our members on their continued resolve in their fight for safety and the role of the guard on SWR. It is wholly down to the management side that the core issue of the safety critical competencies and the role of the guard has not been agreed.

'The union remains available for talks.'

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