New Year’s Eve Strike on South Western Trains

Festive celebrations to be disrupted by industrial action

RMT members demonstrate outside the Department of Transport

The RMT union have announced a strike on South Western Railway services on New Year’s Eve in the dispute over the requirement to have guards on all trains.

The industrial action will mean that there will be no rail service into Waterloo from stations such as Brentford, Chiswick, Wandsworth and Putney. On the same day London Underground will be running a free tube service into the early hours of New Year's Day.

This Tuesday (12 December) representatives of the RMT met the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling and the rail minister Paul Maynard to try and resolve all of the current rail safety disputes. They claim that “contradictory messages, confusion and lack of clarity” coming from Ministers and the Department for Transport that made it difficult to negotiate.

The union were told at the meeting that the Government is not opposed to a second person on the train and it was up to the RMT and employers to reach an agreement. Then within an hour of the meeting finishing RMT General Secretary Mick Cash received a letter from Chris Grayling which they say contradicted this asking that the union accepts the principle of driver controlled operation, the same model as driver only operation. The union has also subsequently been made aware that Chris Grayling has written the same letterto the train companies.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said, “It’s the continuing failure of the train companies and their political puppet masters in Government to make any attempt whatsoever to resolve these disputes over rail safety that has led us to call action today and the responsibility for the disruption that will be caused lays fairly and squarely at their door.“

Live Updates on South Western Rail Services

December 13, 2017