Strike Called Off For Talks
Just heard this afternoon that the strike has been called off for talks, but apparently too late for Southern to run trains along the MarshLink either today or even tomorrow.
From the BBC Web Site
A strike on the Southern rail network has been suspended to allow fresh talks in the row over the role of conductors, Acas said.
Industrial action on Thursday and Friday has been called off for negotiations to resume.
RMT members began a five-day walk out on Monday but Southern said it was encouraged its offer of talks had been accepted.
Union chief Mick Cash said he had contacted Southern with a way forward.
A spokesman for Southern said: “For our passengers’ sake, we truly hope these talks will be productive and bring this long-running dispute to an end.”
The rail operator said the strike timetable – which is running 60% of normal services – remained in the train-planning systems for the next two days.
“Regrettably, this means tomorrow’s service will be based upon the present strike timetable but we will do our very best to add services in and extend the hours of operation wherever possible,” a spokesman said.
The company said on Friday it planned to revert to the revised timetable that had been operating before the strike and its website would be updated as further information became available.
That revised timetable was brought in last month to cope with ongoing disruption. It saw 341 trains axed per day from the 2,242 weekday services Southern had provided.
The RMT is fighting plans by Southern owner Govia Thameslink (GTR) to turn conductors into “on-board supervisors” from 21 August, with drivers taking over responsibility for opening and closing carriage doors.
The union’s general secretary Mr Cash said in a message to members he had heard from Acas that Southern would enter into negotiations “without any preconditions”.
He said: “The National Executive Committee (NEC) has had time to consider this matter and have acknowledged that some progress is being made.
“As the company have now agreed to meet with our union officials without the caveat of any preconditions, the NEC has therefore instructed me to inform you and your colleagues that the strike action has now been suspended with immediate effect until further notice.”
He told members they were instructed to return to work for all shifts starting from 22:00 BST on Wednesday.