Our Ref: BR2/0146
17th March 2017

Dear Colleague,

RMT confirms new strike date on Southern but will reconsider if a date is given for genuine talks


Firstly I would like to congratulate you on the wonderful solidarity shown during Monday’s industrial action. As you know the action was solidly supported and successful. The National Executive Committee has also applauded members for fighting to retain the safety-critical role of the guard.

The excellent organisation with picketing and explaining our issues to the public in the face of the extra burdens imposed by the Tory anti-trade union law was staggering. I can honestly say that the support from the public has also been very positive, I have been informed that many people stopped and showed their support to members on the picket lines and there have been emails and phone calls to Head Office also expressing support. It is very clear that the travelling public and people in general want the retention of the guard with safety critical responsibilities.

The National Executive Committee has now given this matter further consideration and has instructed members to take strike action by not booking on for any shift that commences between the hours of :-

•    00.01 and 23.59 on Tuesday 4th April 2017

I have today written to Southern expressing my concern that they have again reached agreement with another Union without including your Union, the RMT, when any agreement reached will have implications, and mean changes to, our members’ terms and conditions. Regrettably, I cannot give you details of these changes as the company has not even had the courtesy to let us have sight of them.

However, we are seeking urgent meetings with Southern in an effort to achieve a mutually agreeable and safe resolution to the dispute and if these talks are forthcoming then the National Executive Committee will urgently reconsider the action called.
Unfortunately like last time we believe the company will deliberately delay meeting your union. This time we suspect they will not meet us until after the Drivers referendum result is announced so we cannot scrutinise the train driver’s deal until it’s too late for Guards, OBSs and Drivers to understand the full implications of the deal.

Once again congratulations on the magnificent support you have shown throughout this dispute.

Best wishes.
Mick Cash
General Secretary