RMT Union conductors took strike action at Eastbourne Railway Station today (26 April) against proposals for driver-only trains.
Conductors fear the plans would be detrimental for customer safety and plan to walk out again tomorrow, with further disruption to rail travel expected. Southern have dismissed these claims as misleading.
Despite the industrial action, Southern have reported that two-thirds of its services ran today and are extending their thanks to passengers. Most services to and from Brighton have run as normal.
Those on the picket line in Eastbourne reported to Eastbourne Buzz that they've received a lot of public support around their decision to down tools and say they will continue to stand their ground saying 'customer safety is paramount'.
A Southern spokesperson has said:
"This strike by the RMT is completely unnecessary and causes undue misery to our passengers. No staff would lose their jobs under our proposals or see a reduction in their salary, whilst passengers would benefit by having more visible staff on trains. We urge the RMT to come back to the negotiating table.
“As many trains will be staffed as today – we simply want to evolve the role of our on board staff to make them more visible and available to passengers. In addition, services won't be cancelled if an on-board supervisor is not available. That in itself - particularly in times of disruption - is a massive bonus for our passengers.
“Journeys today and tomorrow are going to be very difficult and frustrating for our passengers. While we are working to run as many trains as possible, on some routes there will be no train service at all and on others it will be significantly reduced and start late and finish early.”
Passengers are advised to check before travelling during strike action.