East Devon rail travellers face more disruption

PUBLISHED: 11:09 04 October 2018

Axminster Railway Station. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

Axminster Railway Station. Picture: CHRIS CARSON

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RMT set to begin a 48 hours programme of industrial action in its dispute with South Western Railway

Rail union RMT is beginning a 48 hours programme of industrial tomorrow (Friday, October 5) affecting train services across East Devon.

It is part of the on going dispute with South Western Railway over the need for guards on their trains.

RMT members on South Western Railway working as commercial guards, guards and train drivers are instructed to not to book on for any shifts that commence between: 0001 hours on Friday, October 5 and 23.59 hours on Saturday, October 6.

RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said: “Our members on South Western Railway remain absolutely united and determined in the fight to defend safety, security and access on the railway despite cynical and repeated attempts by the company to undermine the morale of their own workforce.

“The company has continued to fail to provide any offer that comes close to resolving this dispute and their latest attempts at delaying talks has left us feeling angry and frustrated.

“There’s a simple solution to ‎this dispute and it means SWR stop playing with words and negotiate the guard guarantee that reflects the best safety practice elsewhere in the industry. Our members have stood rock solid throughout this dispute and it’s down to the company to get out the bunker and get serious talks underway.

“That is the package we have successfully negotiated in both Wales and Scotland and on a number of English franchises. It defies belief that we are being denied the same positive outcome on the South Western Railway routes.

“RMT thanks the travelling public for their continued support for their guards in a dispute which is solely about putting public safety before private profit.”

Despite the RMT industrial action South Western Railway says it plans to run nearly two thirds of regular services tomorrow around half of normal services on Saturday.

Replacement bus services and ticket acceptance with several other bus and rail companies have also been arranged where it is unable to provide a train service.

Service information and maps have been published online at: https://www.southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey/rmt-industrial-action

A South Western Railway spokesperson said: “We are sorry that the RMT has yet again decided to disrupt customers’ journeys this Friday and Saturday.

“Our train planners, together with our contingency guards from across the company, as well as those guards who usually work on strike days, will ensure we provide as many services as possible for our customers.

“We continue to call on the RMT to talk to us rather than strike, so that we can provide the best service

possible for our customers.”

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