Unions Agree To Talks Aimed At Ending Train Strike

09 November, 2017, 01:53 | Author: Julian Swanson
  • A stoppage is expected today with no trains operating across Intercity Dart and commuter routes

Commuters across huge swathes of Britain encountered massive disruption on Wednesday, November 8, as rail staff staged strike action - the worst witnessed in several decades - sparking widespread public outrage on social media.

A Southern Rail train.

Many services will not be affected, but others will be cancelled, replaced by buses or busier than normal.

Drivers working for Southern Railways have voted by four-to-one to end the long-running dispute over staffing and working practices.

A spokesperson for the Transport Department dismissed the strikes as part of the RMT's "political game", claiming "rail companies are keeping passengers moving with the large majority of services running as planned".

"Rather than scheduling further industrial action beyond that, we would urge our trade unions to take the opportunity, listen to the request of the Labour Court and stop this disruption to customers".

Mick Whelan, ASLEF's general secretary, said: "The agreement means we will have a second safety-trained person on every train covered by this agreement except in exceptional circumstances".

The row over who should open and close the doors on trains has disrupted services sporadically for nearly two years.

"Driver-only operation has been operating safely for 32 years and now accounts for over a third of the United Kingdom rail network".

Labor has already told the five rail operators that the party will halt any future plans to extend driver-only operations if it wins the next general election.

McDonald said Labour believed the railways should aspire to the safest possible method of train despatch to ensure the maximum level of passenger service, security and safety.

A survey of over 1,000 businesses for the Rail Delivery Group showed that nearly three out of four fear rail strikes will harm the economy with a third believing they could directly harm their businesses.

"Where once such passengers who required assistance were guaranteed a second member of staff to assist, a new clause in this deal deliberately sets out how, where there is no on-board supervisor, the driver will knowingly have to leave such passengers stranded on trains and stations".

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