RMT & Southern To Enter Fresh Talks?

Friday 3rd February 2017

eastbourne buzz news - Eastbourne Railway Station

It’s thought Southern and the RMT union may enter new talks next week.

The chief executive of Govia Thameslink Rail – the parent company of Southern – has this morning (3 February) – invited the union for face-to-face talks to try and settle their dispute over the introduction of driver-only trains.

In a personal letter to Mick Cash, general secretary of the union, Charles Horton, chief executive of GTR, said his negotiating team was willing to meet next week "in a spirit of open and positive dialogue to explore the areas of difference between us with a view to resolving the dispute in the interests of our customers and employees".

Mr Horton also asked Mr Cash that "these discussions be conducted without the threat of further industrial action hanging over them".

GTR will now be contacting the union to make "the necessary arrangements" for the talks.

Commenting on the agreement with ASLEF announced yesterday, Mr Horton said, "We are pleased to have reached a deal with the ASLEF leadership. They were prepared to come to the table, with passengers liberated of any threat of strike action.

"Both parties arrived ready to listen, have an open mind and ready to do a deal and I am grateful to Mick Whelan and his Executive for the spirit they entered the talks and agreed a deal with us. I also recognise and respect that drivers will now vote on the agreement and I hope it will be given their green light.

"We would call on the RMT to follow that same consensual spirit and leadership and come to the table with the courage, confidence and conviction to settle their dispute for the benefit of passengers, the regional economy, their members and our employees".

Responding to the invitation for talks, an RMT spokesperson said, “We are happy to meet with GTR, we just want to know what the terms of reference are and we want to make sure that issue surrounding guards is part of the discussion. As soon as we get confirmation of that, we will be good to go.”

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