Latest Southern strike action set to go ahead

Southern train
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Strike action set to affect Southern services is set to go ahead on Monday (January 8), trade union officials have confirmed.

The RMT, which represents on-board train staff, has held a number of walkouts over the further extension of driver-only operation by rail operator Govia Thameslink Railway since early 2016.

Its latest 24-hour strike, which is taking place alongside similar action on other rail franchises across the country, is due to start on Monday morning.

According to Southern’s website: “The full Thameslink and Gatwick Express service is expected to operate on all routes.

“A full Southern service is expected to operate on all routes, except those listed below. In particular, the full service will now operate between Ashford International and Hastings.”

The services due to be affected are shuttles services between Brighton and Hove, a number of trains to and from Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, as well as services between Brighton and West Worthing.

The strike is set to take place on the same day as Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club host Crystal Palace in the third round of the FA Cup.

Angie Doll, passenger services director for Southern Railway, said: “The RMT leadership has chosen to call a strike for one of the biggest nights of the season for fans of Brighton and Crystal Palace. However, we will still be providing additional train services to the Amex Stadium at Falmer before and after the match.

“The RMT’s action is especially regrettable as the leadership announced this strike just hours after we had invited them for talks in a bid to end the dispute.

“The RMT leadership opposes changes that we made a year ago to improve passenger services; no-one has lost their job.

“We have made four offers to the RMT to resolve their dispute but they have rejected every one of them without even putting them to their members for a vote.”

But Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, said: “Every single effort that RMT has made to reach negotiated settlements in these separate disputes with the different train operating companies over safe operation and safe staffing has been kicked back in our faces and we are left with no option but to press ahead with the action exactly as planned.”

For more details visit Southern’s website.