The head of the RMT rail union has called out rail companies for belittling the role of his members, claiming they reduce the role of a train guard to that of a hotel doorman.
Industrial action is taking place across Southern Rail, Merseyrail, Greater Anglia and Arriva Rail North across Thursday, with commuters braced for travel disruption.
The strike is just the latest in a series of walk-outs over the role of train guards, who are represented by the RMT.
Mick Cash, the union's General Secretary, told talkRADIO that rail operators were making out the guards have only one simple role: pressing the button that operaets the doors.
He told Julia Hartley-Brewer: "The employers, the companies, are spinning this line about opening and closing doors, as if our members are like doormen at the Ritz.
"That’s not the case. It’s more serious than that. Its about having a safe, secure and accessible railway.
"The role of the guard requires six months' training and they look after the passengers.
"I just hope the manuscript from the employers isn’t been repeated."