New Year's Eve rail strike planned over train guard dispute

South West trains

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Workers on South Western Railway are to stage two new strikes, including on New Year's Eve, in an ongoing dispute over guards on trains.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will strike for 24 hours on December 27 and December 31, in addition to a previously announced strike on December 22.

The strike is taking place to contest a plan by South Western Railway to run driver-only services.

The RMT union has called on the company to strike a similar deal it has agreed with other firms, in which there is a guard guarantee.



Arriva Rail North workers are striking every Saturday for the remainder of 2018 as part of the same dispute.

General secretary of the RMT, Mick Cash, claimed South Western Railway were "hell-bent" on running driver-only services at their discretion.

"South Western Railway stubbornly refuse to make any progress at all in resolving this dispute, which is about safety, security and access," he said.


RMT 'only interested in inflicting more misery' on passengers

A South Western Railway spokesperson told talkRADIO that the RMT was "only interested in inflicting more misery" on rail passengers.

"We had offered to meet the union to try and resolve this dispute. By announcing further strike dates, the RMT has shown it has no intention of finding a solution and is only interested in inflicting more misery on passengers as they try to enjoy the festive season.

“This strike action is totally unnecessary. We have guaranteed to roster a guard on every train, and we need more, not fewer guards. Should this strike action go ahead, we will do everything we can to provide the best service possible for our customers.”