3 October 2016
RMT Press Office
Union prepared for talks – dispute not about money
In response to the Southern “offer” circulated to the press this morning in advance of the next phase of strike action, Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary said,
“RMT is making it clear this morning that jobs, safety and access on Southern rail services are not for sale for £2000. This dispute has never been about money, it is about guaranteeing that there is a second, safety-critical member of staff on-board the current Southern rail services.
“The union is ready for talks and has been throughout. There is a ready-made solution to this dispute and that is based on the Scotrail deal that guarantees that second member of staff on all services with the safety competencies to deal with incidents like the recent landslip and derailment at Watford where the guards were crucial in averting a major disaster.
“Despite the Southern spin, this dispute is not solely about the doors, it is about giving passengers that safety guarantee that goes with the second member of staff on the train. If that guarantee is good enough for Scotland it should be good enough for Southern. RMT will be responding positively to the call for talks but we will not be caving in to ultimatums that put a £2000 bounty on our members heads and which try to bribe us into selling out on the core issues of rail safety and disabled access.”