Southern passengers face another day of strike action today

Posted On 10 Jul 2017 at 2:10 am

Southern passengers from Brighton and Hove face another day of strike action as members of the RMT guards’ union walk out for 24 hours.

The strike – starting at 12.01am today (Monday 10 July) – comes days before voting ends in a ballot of train drivers organised by the ASLEF union about whether they should also strike.

But Southern said: “We don’t expect the RMT union’s strike to have any effect on our service on Monday and we plan to run the amended timetable that’s in place during ASLEF’s driver overtime ban.”

It is the 33rd day of strike action over 15 months as the RMT continues its battle against changes to the role of guards or conductors on trains.

Southern has imposed new contracts, turning guards into on-board supervisors with the introduction of new trains which allow driver-only operation.

This means that the drivers can close the doors even though this was traditionally the job of the guards.

The system is widely used but the unions say that they have safety concerns about it and believe that not needing a guard – unlike on the old trains – means that more trains will operate without one. This will also make it harder for people with disabilities to travel on the railways.

Separately this week the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling must decide whether the disruption on Southern has been outside the train company’s control.

Mr Grayling is making his decision after an application to the High Court by the Association of British Commuters.

If he doesn’t make a decision, a judicial review will examine the government’s conduct of the Southern franchise.

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