3 August 2018
RMT Press Office:
RMT confirms further strike action goes ahead tomorrow on South Western Railway as company walks away from talks on Guard safety guarantee
RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that the next phase of strike action will go ahead exactly as planned tomorrow in the dispute over rail safety and the axing of guards on South Western Railway as the company walked away from talks this week that could have secured a deal that underpins the guard guarantee.
RMT was confident that it had set out a framework that would have underpinned the guard guarantee but instead of taking the proposals away for consideration as promised the company announced through the media that they were walking away. As a result tomorrow's next phase of action goes ahead.
RMT has reminded the company today that their attitude is out of kilter with huge swathes of the rail industry with the recent Greater Anglia agreement just the latest in a line of settlements, including negotiated arrangements in both Wales and Scotland, that halt the rolling out of Driver Only Operation.
RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said:
“RMT is angry and frustrated that once again South Western Railway are playing fast and loose with the talks process around the guard safety guarantee and it is that cavalier attitude which means the action goes ahead as planned tomorrow.
“RMT has made a very simple request of South Western Railway that they take note of what is going on elsewhere in the rail industry and take on board our serious and practical proposals that give a cast iron guarantee of guards on their services and a halt to the rolling out of Driver Only Operation.
“It is RMT’s firm belief that a deal can be done and an agreement reached like we have with other train operating companies but that requires a responsible and serious attitude from SWR towards this dispute which is all about safe and accessible railways for all underpinned by the guard guarantee we have successfully negotuated in Wales, Scotland and other parts of England.
"I want to pay tribute to RMT’s members on South Western Railway who continue to stand firm and united in the campaign to put public safety before private profit on SWR trains.
“RMT remains committed to the principle of genuine and meaningful talks in this dispute.”