FIVE further days of strike action have been confirmed by train union RMT over the removal of all guards from Govia Thameslink trains.
Driver Only Operated (DOO) trains are unsafe for passengers as drivers are then responsible for the opening and closing of doors. RMT said: ‘We offered a three-month pause to action if the company took the gun away from the guards’ heads and agreed to suspend their proposals and allow space for talks to take place. That request has been kicked back in our faces.’
The strike will begin at one minute past midnight on Monday morning August 8th and continue until 11.59pm on Friday August 12. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: ‘This action has been forced on us by the arrogance and inaction of Govia Thameslink and the government who have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute or in tackling the daily chaos on Southern.
‘Our fight is with the company and the government who have dragged this franchise into total meltdown. We share the anger and frustration of passengers and we cannot sit back while jobs and safety are compromised on these dangerously overcrowded trains.
‘It is disgraceful that neither the company nor the government is prepared to engage and are looking to bully through the extension of DOO and the attack on the guards set for 21st August. They should wake up and get round the table now as an urgent priority.’
• RMT members on the Wood Group Shell assets are continuing with their second day of strike action in a fight over cuts of up to 30% to pay. RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said: ‘RMT members are standing solid and determined in the second day of strike action in response to savage attacks on pay and working conditions by the Wood Group across their Shell-operated assets.
‘The workforce is united in a fight which is drawing in huge support from across the global trade union movement and we welcome the assistance of the International Transport Federation in mobilising that support for the RMT and Unite members fighting for pay justice on the platforms today.
‘The union also welcomes the political support for the action which is reflected in the motion to the Scottish Parliament tabled by Elaine Smith today. The threat of pay cuts of up to 30%, while the company bosses are raking it in, has triggered this dispute which is yet another indictment of the state of corporate Britain today. The company need to recognise the anger, respect their workforce and withdraw this vicious assault on our members’ standards of living.’