BREAKING: Rail union reveals date for new Southern strike

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Rail union RMT has today (Tuesday, February 28) revealed that guards and drivers are set to strike again.

They will be striking on Monday March 13 as part of the on-going disputes over the safety impact of the extension of Driver Only Operation and the removal of guards from services.

Members will strike in the two separate guards and drivers disputes from between 0001 hrs and 2359 hrs.

The RMT said the announcement had come after an offer of talks was ‘snubbed’ by GTR.

Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said, “The abject failure by Southern Rail to meet with us, to clarify their exact position on the second safety-critical member of staff and to take the safety issues seriously has left us with no option but to confirm further action.

“These disputes could have been settled if Southern/GTR had sat down and listened to our case and given the guarantee of a second-safety critical member of staff on their trains.

“We now have the best part of two weeks before the next phase of action for the company to take the issues at the core of this dispute seriously, get round the table with the union and negotiate a settlement.

“It is now down to Southern/GTR to face up to their responsibilities and engage in genuine and serious talks that address the fundamental issue of rail safety on their services. RMT expects the company to take up that offer from the union as a matter of urgency.”

A Southern spokesperson added, “This will be the 30th day of RMT strike action for Southern passengers and today’s news is clearly disappointing.

“We asked the RMT executive to suspend any further action when they met today so that talks could take place, instead they have chosen to put their members through even more pointless industrial action.

“They say they want to talk, but they are hell-bent on further strike misery and causing disruption and hardship to people’s everyday work and family lives.

“We were able to run almost 90 per cent (87 per cent) of services on the last RMT strike day and we will again have contingency plans in place to be able to run as full a service for the travelling public on the day.”