Fresh strikes in long-running dispute over guards on trains

Workers on South Western Railway are to stage fresh strikes after voting heavily in favour of continuing with action in the guards on trains dispute.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out on February 22 and March 9 and 16, causing disruption to some of the busiest train services in the country, including those into London Waterloo.

Workers voted by 88% to continue with the long-running industrial action, after the union re-balloted its members to comply with legislation.

General Secretary Mick Cash said RMT members had stood “united and solid” in the union’s campaign to retain guards on all trains.

“It is a disgrace that South Western Railway have yet again opted to play for time over the past six months rather than acting responsibly and getting round the table with the union to work out a solution to this dispute that puts safety and the guard guarantee centre stage,” he said.

“That is the package we have successfully negotiated in both Wales and Scotland and on a number of English franchises. It defies belief that we are being denied the same positive outcome on the South Western Railway routes.”

The ballot result was announced a day after the union suspended strikes on Arriva Rail North after securing a deal in the same dispute.

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