New round of strike action for South Western Railway

444040 working 3Z01 London Waterloo - Northam passes through Potbridge.
444040 working 3Z01 London Waterloo - Northam passes through Potbridge. // Credit: Steve Poole

RMT has announced that it has secured yet another rock-solid vote to continue with action in the rail safety dispute on South Western Railway.

This is after being forced to renew the mandate under the terms of the latest wave of Tory anti-union laws.

Accordingly, the RMT’s executive has announced a further round of strike action.

Members have voted by an overwhelming 88% to continue with the current action in defence of safety.

RMT members on South Western Railway working as a Railway Guard, Commercial Guard or Train Driver are instructed to not to book on for any shifts that commence between:-

  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Friday 22nd February 2019.
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 9th March 2019.
  • 00.01 Hours and 23.59 Hours on Saturday 16th March 2019.

The ballot result comes a day after RMT secured a guard guarantee in the long-running dispute on Northern Rail.

What did they say?

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“RMT has been forced under the latest wave of Tory anti-union laws to ballot for a fourth time in the rail safety dispute on South Western Railway under the six month rule and once again our members have stood united and solid and have renewed the mandate to carry on the fight to put public safety before private profit.

“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. 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.

“This ballot result comes just a day after RMT secured a guard guarantee in the long running dispute on Northern Rail allowing the union to suspend on-going strike action – piling yet more pressure on SWR to stop stalling and start talking seriously around safe and accessible services with all trains running with a guard on board. ‎There is no excuse for them to stall that process any longer.“

RMT response to SWR guards dispute statement

General Secretary Mick Cash said;

“Once again SWR are playing with words and trying to con the public. Rostering a guard and giving a guarantee that all trains will have a guard on board – the assurance we have had from Northern and other operators – are two completely different things.

“SWR are trying to create a loophole they can drive an unlimited number of ‎driver only trains through and they know it. They should stop playing games and start getting serious”.

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  1. South Western Railway should notice that they don’t want to become like Northern with so many strikes. Even though Northern are the worst train operator with so many strikes happening. Whilst SWR are only doing some strikes at a time.

  2. Don’t tell me that South Western Railway are going on strike yet again. Oh for goodness sake. What is going on with RMT these days.

    With train operators allowing more strikes to happen on Northern, South Western Railway, Transpennine Express, Great Western Railway, ScotRail and Govia Thameslink Railway that have had strikes before.

    Whilst Northern will keep on having strikes to happen because they are a ‘joke of a rail franchise’ in the North of England.


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