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Time for the RMT to get on-board and be part of the modern railway

Press Release   •   May 18, 2016 10:57 BST

As the RMT Union continues its highly disruptive and unnecessary strike action today on Southern routes, the reduced Southern service is currently operating well with around two thirds of services running.

Commenting on today’s RMT strike, GTR’s Chief Executive Officer, Charles Horton said: “This pointless and unnecessary action by the RMT causes enormous disruption for the 300,000 people we carry on their commute every day.

“The railway men and women of Britain are overwhelmingly diligent and hard-working, and they care deeply about the rail service they provide. But they are being led astray, and misled repeatedly, by trade unions acting in their own narrow, selfish interests and ignoring the interests of either commuters or railway workers themselves. It’s time for those unions to get on board with these changes which will improve the railway for passengers, as well as securing the jobs of their members.”

Despite Southern’s rebuttals of the RMT‘s claims, the Union continues with its campaign of scaremongering and misleading claims with yet another press release issued today.

It bases its campaign on three fundamental (and completely unfounded) claims.

  • It says that we are removing Guards from trains. UNTRUE. There will be the same number of people on trains as there are today.
  • It says that Safety is under threat. UNTRUE. Over 40% of Southern services operate with the driver controlling the doors. This safe method of operation is endorsed by the rail regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.
  • It says that we are putting profit before safety. UNTRUE. This is nothing to do with profits. Safety is our absolute number one priority. The RMT is being deliberately misleading with this outrageous claim.

It’s now time for the RMT to drop this stance; to realise that modern trains do not need Conductors to close doors and to recognise that our proposals are in the best interests of our passengers and staff. If the Union really wants what’s best for its members and our passengers, it needs to come to the table and talk to us about our proposals.

Our advice for passengers today is to check before they travel and allow plenty of time to complete their journeys as services on some Southern routes will close down early this evening.