Talks between Southern Rail and the RMT Union have again ended without agreement, meaning Eastbourne commuters will face a 32nd day of strike action.
The RMT has said their dispute with the company continues, saying they have been told over 8000 trains will run a year, without a second staff member onboard. Owing to their concerns for passenger safety, RMT conductors and drivers will walk out for 24 hours on Tuesday 30 May.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary, said, “RMT members on Southern Rail have been fighting for safety and access to rail services for over a year now. We have met with the company but there is a massive gap of over 8000 trains a year that GTR have confirmed will run without an OBS on board. That represents a serious safety and accessibility risk and short of the guarantee of a second safety qualified member of staff on Southern services we have no option but to confirm a further day of strike action.
“It is now down to Southern/GTR, and the contract holders in the Government, to face up to their responsibilities and engage in genuine and serious talks that address our issues.”
In response to the RMT’s new strike date, Andy Bindon, HR Director at Govia Thameslink Railway, Southern’s parent company, said, “We are hugely disappointed that once again the RMT has called a strike, particularly since we put a further reasonable offer to the union today.
“The RMT’s proposals would mean cancelling trains and reducing service levels to our passengers. Our service levels are stabilising at the highest we’ve seen in years and we cannot agree to anything which will jeopardise running trains and the service to our passengers.
"With passenger numbers doubling every 20 years, railway capacity is being addressed by a UK-wide railway modernisation programme that necessitates change. We ask the RMT to help us to underpin and maximise train frequency and capacity now and for the future.”