Southern Rail train drivers and guards will go on strike next week after the RMT union claims it was left out of talks between Aslef and Southern Rail.
The dispute which centres on driver-only trains is a long running dispute between the two sides. Passengers have seen lots of disruption on Southern Rail routes due to strikes and disorganisation at the heart of the train company.
Guards-affiliated to the Rail, Maritime, and Transport union will walk out on 24 hours on Monday. A few of their members are drivers and they will strike on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday next week.
Aslef, the main drivers’ union has called off strikes while it continues talks with Southern Rail. It has also called off its overtime ban. The talks are under the co-chairmanship with the TUC.
A spokesman for Southern Rail said, “The talks that are now taking place under the auspices of the TUC are as a result of a suggestion by Aslef, which we welcomed and accepted in order to find a way to end their drivers’ dispute.
“As we have stated, we are happy to have formal talks with the RMT too when they’re ready to do so, and lines of communication with them are open.
“In the meantime, to show good faith, we would ask them to follow Aslef’s lead and suspend their one-day conductors’ strike planned for next Monday.”
Mick Cash of the RMT union said, “RMT demands again today that this union be given access to exactly the same talks process in our Southern Rail disputes as has been brokered for our sister union by the TUC.
“The notion that some sort of deal can be done which leaves those Southern guards out in the cold is ludicrous.
“As a result of our exclusion from the talks process set up by the TUC and the Government both our guards and drivers action remains on next week and we demand and expect a positive response to our fresh demand for a seat at the negotiating table.”