Southern Rail Firm to Carry on with Changes Despite Strikes

Southern Rail Firm to Carry on with Changes Despite Strikes

Southern rail operator Govia Thameslink Railway insists that it will press on with the controversial changed to staffing arrangements this summer despite an on-going dispute with trade unions which has crippled train services.

Govia Thameslink Railway Chief Executive, Charles Horton, said that the company has no choice but to directly proceed with the changes because the union has decided to stop representing its members in a reasonable way.

So far, a dispute over changes to the roles of train guards has resulted in four days of strike action by RMT union members, along with weeks of crippled service caused by abnormally high levels of sudden sick days taken off by workers.

Around 250 cancellations are occurring each day on Southern routes due to the shortage of train staff and this disruption has resulted in calls for the government to intervene, while local MPs have formed a cross part alliance in a bid to force through an agreement.

Mr Horton declared the situation as being incredibly difficult and conceded that it has resulted in a very bad service for passengers at the moment.

He added that it is a shame that they have to go through this dance with the unions, before insisting that the proposed changes are minor but key to the future of rail services in the South and promised no pay cuts or job losses.

An RMT spokesman said that Mr Horton has declared war on the workforce, jobs and passengers and refused to rule out the possibility of further strike action.

The RMT has stated that the proposed changes would be a threat to safety, but this claim is strongly refuted by the company.

The union also accused the government of having an influence on the organisation’s staff policies, while earlier in the year a senior official at the Department for Transport, Peter Wilkinson, forecast punch ups with railway staff at a Croydon residents meeting.

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