4 December 2019
RMT Press Office:
RAIL UNION RMT today wrote to South Western Railway setting out a framework for renewed talks as members fighting on the twin issues of safety and accessibility on the companies trains enter their third day of strike action.
In the letter to the company, RMT General Secretary Mick Cash says:
“I am writing to you today to ask for your agreement to reopen talks around an operational framework that would allow for the action called for December to be suspended. Obviously, it would be in the interest of all concerned to try and reach a negotiated agreement and I have today written to Sir Brendan Barber at ACAS asking him to use his good offices to conciliate.
In respect of dwell times – which you raised as a core issue in objecting to the union’s proposals in earlier talks - it is our view that adding 3 or 4 seconds dwell time at each station to ensure the safest method of working and despatch is surely a small price to pay to guarantee the safety and accessibility for all which is the issue at the heart of the dispute . Safety must come first in all instances which, as you know, is our guiding principle.
As the union has said repeatedly there is clearly a deal there to be done which would cost your company nothing and which would give the safety and accessibility guarantees at the platform/train interface that we have been seeking.
I would welcome your immediate confirmation of your agreement to attend these urgent discussions under the auspices of ACAS.”