The RMT has accepted Southern’s offer for fresh talks.
The Union is hoping the meeting will go ahead early next week, having asked the company for available dates.
In a circular to their members, RMT General Secretary said, “Southern GTR has agreed to meet this union over the issues at the heart of this dispute and I have written to the company seeking available dates, which will hopefully commence early next week. Additionally, I will be asking the company for a copy of the agreement between Southern GTR and our sister union and asking for information on any additional proposals the company intend to present at our talks. Furthermore, I will be asking that our Conductor and OBS Representatives (Ex-Revenue Protection - as of December 2016) meet with myself, the NEC and Lead Officer to discuss the dispute.
“We have expressed our dismay and dissatisfaction at the TUC’s approach in this dispute and made it clear that we object to their exclusion of this union from the talks at the TUC between the company and our sister union.”
Responding, a GTR spokesperson said, "Lines of communication are open with the RMT and we will be back in touch with them next week."
On hearing the news, former Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said, "I am delighted that it appears the RMT have agreed to sit down and talk with Southern Rail. And if, as I fervently hope and have been campaigning for months on, that the negotiations are on the same no pre-conditions basis ALSEF were offered, we just may be edging close to a workable deal which both unions can sign up to. I do hope this is the case as it's clear to everyone the long-suffering Eastbourne rail users have reached the end of their tether!"