Responding to the RMT's announcement of a strike by conductors and on-board supervisor members on 23 January, a Southern spokesperson said:
“Our CEO Charles Horton spoke face-to-face with Mick Lynch, deputy general secretary of the RMT, immediately after their recording of a BBC debate last Sunday. Charles invited the RMT to fresh talks but we’ve had no dates or times from them. We’d also point out that on the morning of 14 December, our chief operating officer personally invited Mick Cash for talks with him later that day. Mr Cash did not show up. So the union are once again being disingenuous. We also made a formal written offer to ASLEF over a week ago and we have heard absolutely nothing.
“But it’s important we focus now on moving forward to end this sorry saga of strike misery. This wholly unjustified industrial action is causing utter misery and hardship to the travelling public and is having a significant impact on people’s work and family lives and the regional economy. We remain ready to meet the RMT leadership, as we do ASLEF, anytime, any place, anywhere to find a way to end their disputes.
“These strikes are not about safety; it’s purely about the unions trying to turn the clock back, hang on to outmoded working practices, which technology now eradicates, and union power. We need to modernise our trains and the services passengers want. Every train that previously had a conductor before 1 January now has either a conductor or a safety-competent on-board supervisor rostered to work. We need to end these strikes and end them now.”