Hastings and Rye Labour Party is continuing to support the staff working at Southern Rail who are currently on strike. During the 3 day strike by members of the RMT union on Southern Trains Labour Party members and supporters will be giving out leaflets to support our trade unionist brothers and sisters at 7.30 am at St Leonards Warrior Square and at 5 .30 pm at Hastings Station. That is, today, Wednesday 12th and tomorrow ,Thursday 13th.
A leaked briefing memo from the self-styled “independent” Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) shows that not only is Southern Rail boss Charles Horton a key player in the train-company funded organisation but that they also advocate the sacking of train guards as the way to maximise profits. This blows apart the claims from Southern that the RSSB is “independent” and also shows that they are up to their necks in the policy of axing guards to ramp up the profits of the train companies that fund them.
Commenting on the briefing memo Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT has said, “Nowhere in this memo does it mention safety, it is all about axing guards and making fat-cat returns for the private train operators. That is the issue at the heart of the Southern dispute… This strike is about putting passenger safety before private profit.”
Talks to end the dispute have collapsed today 12th October since, according to Mick Cash, Charles Horton the Southern Rail boss “is refusing to stick by the assurances he gave to the media yesterday that he can “absolutely” guarantee a second member of staff on all current Southern services with a conductor. This dispute isn’t about who open and closes the doors, it is about that absolute guarantee of a second safety-competent member of staff on these Southern services.”