25 April 2016
RMT Press Office
RMT sets out core points for the public at heart of Southern guards dispute – company putting profits before public safety
RAIL UNION RMT today began distributing information to the general public at stations across Southern rail setting out the three core issues at the heart of the strike action that starts at 11am tomorrow – 26th April:
• Removal of conductors from trains
• Safety under threat
• Company putting profit before safety
RMT says that once again the travelling public have been subjected to GTR Southern’s propaganda on the matter of the guards and proposals to remove the safety critical role they currently perform. The GTR spin has been branded by the union as nothing more than a smokescreen designed to cover up the fact that this massively-unpopular franchise operator is once again looking to ramp up profit margins at the expense of the safety and quality of service to passengers who pay some of the highest fares on Britain’s railways to travel on overcrowded and unreliable services.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said:
“Let us be crystal clear – this dispute is about safety and the safety-critical role of the guards on Southern trains. The company, with an eye on ever-fatter profits, is prepared to axe the guards on some of the most overcrowded and potentially-dangerous services in Britain so that they can squeeze every last penny out of their passengers regardless of the consequences. That is a lethal gamble with safety in the name of profit and that is why we have been forced to take strike action.
“Southern see their passengers as nothing more than self-loading freight, there to be fleeced at every turn and every opportunity. The consequences of removing guards, the human eyes and ears on that dangerous interface between crowded platforms and crowded trains, is blindingly obvious to anyone but the rip-off merchants running this deeply unpopular rail franchise.
“The company have now resorted to trying to bully and intimidate staff taking a stand to defend the safety-critical role of the guard. That is disgusting but nothing surprises us with this mob. The union stands firm and united in advance of tomorrows action and we urge the public once again to support their rail workers. Our job is your safety.”
We spoke to Paul Cox from @RMTunion ahead of the #southernstrikes - here's what he said...pic.twitter.com/yDsAKstwRM