29 August 2018
RMT Press Office:
RMT confirms 72 hours of strike action on South Western Railway goes ahead from Friday as company refuse serious talks.
RAIL UNION RMT has confirmed that the next round of strike action on South Western Railway goes ahead from Friday as the company continue to refuse to engage in a serious talks process that could reach an agreement.
As a result of the company attitude RMT members are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-
• * 0001 Hours on Friday 31st August 2018 and 2359 Hours on Saturday 1st September 2018
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Sunday 2nd September 2018
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 8th September 2018
• 0001 Hours and 2359 Hours on Saturday 15th September 2018
RMT has accused the company of sending a negotiating team into earlier talks with no authority and no support from their paymasters in Hong Kong and Aberdeen to reach a settlement. As a result, serious union proposals addressing disruption of service have been repeatedly kicked back in our face with RMT accusing those responsible for stringing the negotiating team along since the dispute began nearly a year ago with no intention of reaching agreement.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said;
“RMT is angry and frustrated that the company’s cavalier and contemptuous approach to talks leaves us no option but to continue our programme of industrial action. We know that passengers will share that anger. There will be serious disruption throughout this weekend and the responsibility for that lays squarely with SWR and their Hong Kong and Aberdeen based paymasters who appear to have no interest in negotiating a settlement.
"RMT recently secured an agreement on Greater Anglia that enshrines the guard guarantee. Similar agreements have also been reached in Wales and Scotland. South Western Railway need to do the right thing and come to an agreement that secures a guard on their trains too.
“South Western Railway seem to think they can treat the union and their staff with utter contempt. They need to change that attitude, get serious and put a team in place that can talk with us with authority on the safety, security and access issues at the heart of this dispute.”
“We thank the public for their support and understanding throughout this dispute over rail safety and access and the union remains ready for genuine and serious talks.”