RMT rail union to stage five-day strike on South Western Railway in June

 
Alexandra Rogers
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RMT said its members were striking over the role of the guard on trains (Source: Getty)

Workers on the embattled South Western Railway (SWR) will strike for five days in June over a dispute with the role of guards on trains.


The strike will take place from 18 June, rail union RMT said.

The RMT has told its guards and drivers to not book on for duty for 24 hours on 18 June to Saturday 22 June.

The union claims it has failed to reach an agreement with SWR over the safety critical roles on the guard on passenger trains.

Read more: First Group passenger revenue growth slumps following SWR strike action


RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Our members are angry and frustrated that despite suspending action in good faith, and entering into talks in a positive and constructive manner, South Western Railway have dragged their heels and failed to bolt down an agreement that matches up top our expectations on the guard guarantee.

Read more: First Group to sell off Greyhound buses arm

“For more than three months we have sought to negotiate a conclusion to this dispute and it is wholly down to the management side that the core issue of the safety critical competencies and the role of the guard has not been signed off. It is because of that crucial failure by SWR that we have had no option but to lift the suspension and move back into strike action.”

A spokesperson for SWR said: "With further ACAS talks already in the diary for 17 June, for the RMT Union to call a week of strikes starting the following day shows there is not a genuine commitment to finding a solution.

“The union has always said it wanted us to keep the guard on every train which is what we have offered as part of a framework agreement. Now we want to move the conversation on to how we operate our new trains and take advantage of the new technology on board to benefit our customers.

"We remain committed to finding a solution that will help us build a better railway for our customers and colleagues alike. If these strikes go ahead, they will cause needless disruption. We are calling for the RMT to call off this unnecessary industrial action so that planned ACAS talks can go ahead."