Rail bosses: Southern strikes ‘impotent and ineffective’

Southern train

Southern train

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Strike action by Southern staff is ‘increasingly impotent and ineffective’, according to rail bosses.

Almost nine out of trains ran during a 24-hour strike by the RMT union as part of its dispute with Govia Thameslink Railway over the introduction of driver-only operation.

The union, which represents conductors currently being transferred to the role of on-board supervisors, has raised concerns about the potential loss of a second safety critical member of staff.

Driver-only operation involves drivers opening and closing train doors.

In response to an RMT statement today, a Southern spokesperson said: “We ran nearly nine in ten train services during the RMT strike two days ago and over half (54 per cent) of our on board supervisors (OBS) and conductor staff reported for work on the day too.

“The RMT leadership should recognise these facts and that our passengers are noticing that the RMT’s action against them is increasingly impotent and ineffective.

“The union should now bring their saga of strikes to an end. We are reviewing their letter and our response to it.”

Meanwhile the RMT has called for urgent talks to clarify GTR’s position on the future role of conductors.

It has written to Charles Horton, chief executive officer of GTR, prior to a meeting of the union’s executive committee on Tuesday (February 28), which will consider the future of the dispute with a view to calling more strikes.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, said: “RMT continues to seek a guarantee on a second safety critical member of staff – something our members have been fighting for nearly a year on.

“Passengers rightly demand and deserve a safe, reliable and accessible service.”

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