5 May 2016
RMT switches Southern guards strike action and prepares for prolonged dispute over jobs and safety.
RAIL UNION RMT confirmed this morning that it has switched the next strike date for action involving guards on GTR Southern as the union’s executive prepares for a prolonged campaign over the threat to the role of the guards and the undermining of rail safety.
The union executive has agreed to pull back the strike action called for Tuesday 10th May to Wednesday 11th May and for Thursday 12th May to Friday 13th May and instead instruct guards members to take strike action by not working any shifts that book on between 0001 and 2359 on Friday 20th May.
RMT will also be taking legal advice on the threatening and abusive stance the company is adopting towards union members using their basic human right to strike in defence of rail safety.
A fresh wave of campaigning, targeted at building on public support for RMT’s fight with Southern over the future of safe staffing levels and safe train operation, is being prepared as the union moves the dispute forwards.
RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said:
“We have reassessed the tactics of the dispute and, recognising the hostile and aggressive stance taken by the company as we fight for the basic principles of rail safety, RMT’s executive has decided to switch the next phase of action to the 20th May.
“Southern GTR should be under no illusions, the union will not bend to their bullying and threats and we will be out there building on the huge public support we have already mobilised in a campaign that pitches the demands for increasing private profits against safety on our railways.
“Southern GTR fleeces its passengers for a fortune in fares for unreliable and overcrowded services and RMT will not allow safety to be the next thing sacrificed in the dash for fatter and fatter profits on this rail franchise.”