South Western Railway strike action suspended

After a flurry of correspondence with the company this week our Executive has agreed to suspend this weekend’s strike action to allow for further talks

SWR, which runs trains from some of London's busiest stations including Waterloo and Clapham Junction, has been dogged by industrial action over the past year because of a dispute with the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union over safety guards.

South Western Railway and RMT have today announced that this Saturday's strike action has been suspended to allow further talks around the guard guarantee.

Union bosses previously said the rail company had "sabotaged" and made a "mockery" of talks over plans to roll out its driver-only operation.

"German-owned Northern Rail want to run almost half a million trains a year without a safety critical guard on board in a move that would wreck both safety and access ‎to services", RMT general secretary Mick Cash said in a statement.

Cash continued: "RMT recently secured an agreement on Greater Anglia that enshrine the guard guarantee".

Mr Allan said the strikes came despite Northern having proposed and entered into a joint working party with RMT, and described the strikes as a "blow to our customers". We have agreed a terms of reference for those talks, agreed to discuss the RMT's preferred outcome first and then held four days of talks with RMT in recent weeks.

Three new strikes are planned by Northern rail workers in their dispute about the role of guards, including one over the August Bank Holiday weekend. A further day of talks has also been proposed for Friday August 17.

Passengers using Northern trains are facing yet more disruption with the announcement of fresh strike action.

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