Union protest outside Parliament to mark year since start of Southern dispute

SUS-160712-111231001
SUS-160712-111231001

A rail union is set to protest outside Parliament to mark one year since the start of strikes on the Southern network.

The RMT has been fighting operator Govia Thameslink Railway over the extension of driver-only operation, which involves drivers opening and closing train doors.

Conductors, who are being transferred to the role of on-board supervisors, have raised concerns about the potential loss of a second safety-critical member of staff on Southern trains.

Talks are due to take place between GTR and the RMT on Monday April 24 and Tuesday April 25 to end the dispute, but the union has also organised a protest opposite Old Palace Yard at noon on Wednesday April 26 to mark a year since it held the first strike of the dispute.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, said: “Heroic RMT members working for Southern Rail have taken 31 days of industrial action against the threat to rail safety from Driver Only Operation.

“Those RMT members have put their passengers and their local communities first and they are a credit to the entire trade union movement. It is right that rail workers from across the UK should have a chance to come together with our Southern members to mark the first anniversary of the dispute.

“DOO is a national threat and this protest provides the opportunity for members from across Britain to make their voices heard and for us to show the politicians and media that our fight for passenger safety will continue.”

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