I completely oppose the opportunistic decision to strike by the RMT union.
The strikes will take start on 8 August and finish at midnight on 12 August.
There is absolutely no justification for these strikes. The RMT’s cynical claims about the safety of driver only doors are baseless. 60% of the GTR network already operates ‘doors operated by drivers’. 30% of all national UK trains use driver operated doors. London Underground has 100% cent driver operated doors with no problems.
Moving the conductors from operating the doors frees them up to assist passengers. These changes will also not result in any job losses or any pay reduction, and every train that currently has two staff (driver and conductor) will continue to have two staff.
Southern has failed passengers time and time again, but the RMT union must take its share of the blame. This is not a decision to harm Southern Rail, but to harm customers.
Passengers are also facing major delays due to the average 280 sick days a week that Southern Rail staff are taking as unofficial wildcat strikes.
The head of the RMT, Mick Cash, has claimed that they “share the anger and frustration of passengers”, but these strikes show that they simply don’t care. They are putting their squabble with Southern ahead of the needs of their passengers.
I urge the RMT to call off these strikes and find a real solution with Southern.