More Strike Misery For Southern Rail Commuters

Both the RMT and ASLEF unions are protesting against driver-only trains

There are no Southern Rail services today (Wednesday 14 December), and Friday this week. Southern is advising commuters not to attempt to travel at all on its network during the strikes.

The train drivers union ASLEF and the transport workers union RMT are both taking industrial action. Both unions are in disagreement with Southern over driver-only operated routes.

RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash, said today, "RMT drivers on Southern Rail are standing shoulder to shoulder with their ASLEF colleagues this morning in a fight for safe train operation."

The RMT and Southern's parent company Govia Thameslink cannot agree about planned changes to the role of conductors, which would result in switching the responsibility for closing train doors to drivers.

The unions say that the move would be a threat to passenger safety and security, and that 400 guards could lose jobs.

Govia Thameslink says that by opposing the changes the unions are refusing to relinquish outdated working practices.

Mike Cash this morning went on to dismiss Transport Secretary Chris Grayling's claim that the strikes are "a deliberate act of militancy" aimed at bringing the rail network to its knees. "This morning Chris Grayling claimed that the action on Southern is political - it isn't, it's about safe train operation for both passengers and staff alike."

Sadiq Khan strikesEarlier today Mayor of London and Wandsworth resident Sadiq Khan tweeted: "Doing nothing to help Southern Rail commuters is no longer an option for the Govt. I am offering support to end the Southern Rail chaos. The only viable solution for commuters is for TfL to run London's suburban services on Southern, Southeastern and South West lines."

RMT members also plan industrial action on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20 December, and from December 31-January 2. Both the RMT and ASLEF have also announced strike dates for Monday 9-Saturday 14 January.


December 14, 2016