21 March 2017
RMT Press Office:
RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it has moved the next strike date involving guards and drivers on Southern Rail in the dispute over safety to allow for talks to take place with the company on the 4th of April.
Members will now strike for 24 hours between 0001 hours and 2359 hours on Saturday 8th April 2017.
The announcement comes following an offer from the company for talks on the 4th April – the date originally slated for the next strike day.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said:
“RMT members on Southern Rail have been fighting for safety and access to rail services for nearly a year now and it is time for the company to get out of the bunker and to start making some progress.
“There is no reason for Southern/GTR to drag their heels and RMT is prepared to meet on the 4th of April as they have requested . We now have plenty of breathing space to get talks underway and we would urge the company to seize the opportunity that our decision today has opened up for both parties and the union would prefer for the talks to happen sooner rather than later.”
“RMT guards and driver members on Southern have shown incredible strength and resilience throughout the past year and have been clear from the off that this is not a dispute about “who opens the doors” – it is a dispute about a safe method of operation and about the guarantee of that crucial, second safety-critical member of staff on Southern services. It is time for that fundamental issue to be addressed at the negotiating table.
“If Southern are prepared to agree to talks on the 4th of April, or sooner, with meaningful proposals on the table that address the issues at the heart of the dispute, the union’s executive would be in a position to consider the suspension of the current planned action.”