Signalworkers strike cancels Easter week trains

Posted On 30 Mar 2010 at 9:11 am

The number of trains operating from Brighton next week will be severely reduced if signalling and maintenance staff go on strike.

Members of the ~National Union of Royal, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) are due to walk out from Tuesday, April 6 to Friday, April 9.

Southern Trains says during this time, just two trains an hour will run from Brighton to  Victoria, with a half-hourly shuttle service running between Brighton and Hove.

First Capital Connect will run two trains an hour between Brighton and City Thameslink, and no services at all will run after 6.50pm for the duration of the strike.

Southern’s Service Delivery Director, James Burt said: “Because a limited number of signal boxes will be staffed, we will only be able to provide train services on some of our routes.

“We plan to do the best we can for our passengers in the circumstances and hope that they will bear with us during this difficult time.

“While we will endeavour to run as many trains as possible, it will be a much reduced service and trains will be exceptionally busy.”

The maintenance staff will be on strike from 6am on Tuesday to just before midnight on Friday, while the signal workers will strike from 6am to 10am and 6pm to 10pm each day.

They are striking because of National Rail’s plans to slash hundreds of jobs across the country.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “RMT negotiators have worked flat out to try and reach an agreement that protects rail safety, job security and working agreements in the disputes involving signalling and maintenance staff on Britain’s railways. Despite long hours of talks we have received nothing concrete from Network Rail that addresses the key issues.

“It remains the case that Network Rail, in a drive to slash 21% from their budget, want to axe 1500 maintenance posts, lump maintenance functions onto over-worked signallers, rip up agreements and impose changes that will quite clearly undermine safety across our railways and make another Hatfield, Potters Bar or Grayrigg disaster an inevitability.

“RMT members could not sit back and wait for Network Rail to drag our industry back to the dark days of Rail Track with their cash-driven cuts plans. We have decided to stand up and fight and the ball is now in Network Rail’s court to come back with meaningful proposals aimed at resolving these disputes.”

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