Today (Thursday) we met with the RMT and had hoped we could persuade them to suspend next week’s planned strike and allow the positive local talks we had been having to continue. We still believe that by continuing to engage with our local staff representatives we can find a way to work together and deliver the passenger benefits our new modern suburban fleet will bring when the trains enter service in late 2019. However, I am sorry to report that despite re-stating all our previous commitments – that we will have more jobs not less; that we plan to retain a second person on every train; and guaranteeing salaries and terms and conditions for Guards – the union executive is going ahead with these strikes which will damage both passengers and staff.
We will operate a contingency timetable on 8 and 9 November which see us run around two-thirds of our normal train service on those strike dates. Details of our contingency timetable can be found on our website https://www.southwesternrailway.com/plan-my-journey/rmt-strike