Rail union announces 27 days of strike action on South Western Railway

Rail union RMT has today confirmed its members will stage 27 days of strike action in December on South Western Railway.

The move follows a claim that the railway operator ‘dangled a potential breakthrough deal in front of the union and then failed to honour it’. The RMT says it has been offered no reasons for the delay.

RMT members want assurances that the railway’s new operational model won’t move to Driver Controlled Operation – with the role of the guard axed.

The union has instructed its members who work as guards, commercial guards and train drivers not to book on for duty from 0.01am on Monday, December 2 to 11.59pm on Wednesday, December 11.

Further action is planned from Friday, December 13 to Tuesday, December 24, and from Friday, December 27 to January 1.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: “Our members have been left with no choice but to call a further 27 days of strike action on South Western Railway.

“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.”

South Western Railway has yet to issue a statement in response to the planned strike action.

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