4 October 2016
RMT Press Office
Southern refuse offer of unconditional ACAS talks in Guards safety dispute.
RAIL UNION RMT said this morning that Southern Rail have point blank refused approaches for unconditional talks at ACAS in a bid to get negotiations back on track as the next phase of strike action in the guards safety dispute moves closer.
The company have told ACAS that they are only prepared to discuss the implementation of their plans and have no interest in discussing a newly defined, safety critical role for the guaranteed second member of staff on current services.
RMT has repeated that it believes a deal is there to be done which matches the package finalised on Scotrail in a similar dispute.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"The rejection of unconditional ACAS talks by Southern confirms that they have no interest in a settlement and are hell bent on confrontation. In more than three decades as a union official I have never encountered such a shocking attitude to the basic principles of industrial relations.
"RMT is fighting to protect safety and access to services. It is simple as that. It's time for the Government to get off the fence and to tell their contractors to get the gun away from the guards heads and to start talking seriously about a deal that is there to be done. If it's good enough for Scotrail, it's good enough for Southern. "