Five more bouts of strike action are to hit commuters in Eastbourne.
The RMT Union has today (22 September) revealed its members are to walk out for a total of 14 days in the ongoing dispute with Southern over the road of guards on trains.
Conductors are to walk out from:
• 00.01 on Tues 11 October until 23.59 on Thurs 13 October
• 00.01 on Tues 18 October until 23.59 on Thurs 20 October
• 00.01 on Thurs 3 November until 23.59 on Sat 5 November
• 00.01 on Tues 22 November until 23.59 on Wed 23 November
• 00.01 on Tues 6 December until 23.59 on Thurs 8 December.
The Union feels the introduction of driver-only trains will impact passenger safety, something Southern strongly disputes.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said, “Yet again our members are being forced to take industrial action in a bid to maintain a safe and secure service on Southern. Govia Thameslink and the Government have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute. Instead they have begun the process of bulldozing through the drive towards wholesale Driver Only Operation (DOO) without agreement and without any concern for the impact on safety, security and disability access.
“Last week there was a train derailment near Watford that involved two trains. The Guards on both trains played a vital role in protecting the passengers and the trains in what were extremely frightening circumstances. If the train had been DOO and without a Guard the consequences would have been far worse.
“This week we reached a deal with Scotrail that we are recommending for acceptance in a referendum of our members, that guarantees a fully competent Conductor/Guard on every new train. This agreement protects passengers, and guarantees a second safety trained member of staff on board a train, who can assist if there is an incident such as we recently saw near Watford.
“If an agreement can be reached on Scotrail, then an agreement can also be made on Southern.
"In the light of these recent developments it is disgraceful that neither the company or the Government are prepared to engage and are continuing to attempt to impose DOO in the interests of putting profit before safety. We call on them to get round the negotiating table as an urgent priority."