|The RMT has confirmed a new programme of industrial action involving Southern rail guards after the company walked away from talks.
The union has accused the company of bulldozing through the roll-out of the new operational arrangements from last Sunday without any serious attempt to secure agreement.
As such, RMT members will be taking action from midnight on September 7th until midnight on September 9th.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “This action has been forced on us by the arrogance and inaction of the Govia Thameslink and the government who have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute or in tackling the daily chaos on Southern. Instead they have begun the process of bulldozing through the drive towards wholesale Driver Only Operation without agreement and without any concern for the impact on safety, security and disability access.
“Our fight is with the company and the government who have dragged this franchise into total meltdown. We share the anger and frustration of passengers and we cannot sit back while jobs and safety are compromised on these dangerously overcrowded trains.
“It is disgraceful that neither the company or the government are prepared to engage and are looking to bully through the extension of DOO and the attack on the guards from last Sunday regardless . They should wake up and get round the table now as an urgent priority.”
ASLEF and TSSA members are also currently balloting for action. TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes said: “We cannot stand by and allow GTR to reduce Southern Railway to a second class operation which is not fit for passengers and staff.
“Passengers have suffered enough over the past few months and it is now time for Chris Grayling to act. GTR should be stripped off this franchise and it should be handed over to the publicly run Transport for London as Sadiq Khan has suggested.
“Then we will have a publicly run franchise which will be operating in the public interest, not in the interest of private shareholders.”