Strike threat over Southern Rail staffing dispute

web standing-images. Rail.
web standing-images. Rail.

Commuters from Sussex could soon face major delays after conductors backed strike action over a staffing dispute at Southern Rail.

The ballot held by the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) saw more than 70 per cent of conductors back strike action due to a dispute over staff shortages on Southern Rail trains.

RMT says Southern has failed to deal with staff shortages and rostering issues, which the union claim has led to rush hour trains being cancelled at short notice.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said, “The staffing shortages on Southern are a disgrace and are creating daily problems. Our members have now shown just how angry they are in this magnificent ballot result, which will now be considered by the union’s executive.

“This is a vital and lucrative franchise where commuters pay thousands of pounds a year to travel on services that are chronically under-staffed and RMT members have had enough of it.

“This union will not sit back while staffing levels are pared to the bone on rail franchises and our members run ragged solely in the interests of private company profits.

“RMT remains available for further talks and we hope that in light of this ballot result the company will now see sense.”

The union says it will consider new proposals from Southern before taking any strike action.

A spokesman for Southern said, “We have worked really hard to solve this with the union. We have made them a proposal which they are thinking about, and we wait to hear what we hope will be a positive response.”

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