All the latest news and reaction as the first of a month-long series of strikes to hit southern England beginsAre you taking part or affected by the strike? 8.38am GMT Steve Hedley, senior assistant general secretary of the RMT, told Sky News this morning that the strikes are about safety, not pay.He said: “This dispute is not about more money and it’s not about a shorter working week. It’s about the safety role of the guard. Eight out of ten most serious accidents happen on driver-only operated trains. Assaults have gone up over 100% in the last five years on driver only operated trains. Sexual assaults have gone up 140% in the past five years.”No one wants to lose 28 days of pay coming up to Christmas”@SteveHedley3 of the @RMTunion says the rail strikes are about safety and not about pay. MR#KayBurley at #Breakfast#RMTStrike #SWRStrike pic.twitter.com/qvqUohLMDM 8.12am GMT Talks between the two sides collapsed last week, with the union and company blaming each other for the strike action.The RMT general secretary, Mick Cash, said:RMT members are standing rock solid and united on South Western Railway this morning as we begin a full month of strike action in support of the safest method of train operation and dispatch. This strike is solely about protecting safety and accessibility on SWR trains. “RMT is angry and frustrated that a set of proposals that would have guaranteed the safety-critical role of the guard at the point of despatch, and which would have cost the company absolutely nothing, were kicked back in our faces last week. There is no rational explanation for the company position and we can only assume that either they or their paymasters in government wanted this strike action to go ahead for politically motivated purposes.We have done everything we can and more to meet the RMT’s outdated demands with our promise of a guard on every train, and a safety-critical role for that guard.“What we are not prepared to compromise on is the much-needed modernisation of the service with improved performance, safety and customer service that our new fleet of modern suburban trains will vitally deliver for customers. Continue reading…
Source link : https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/live/2019/dec/02/south-western-railway-strike-live-updates
Author : Aamna Mohdin
Publish date : 2019-12-02 08:38:29
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