Southern said the strike action which was set to start on Sunday (July 12) has been cancelled
Engineers on Southern railway are to stage a five day strike over claims of a “comprehensive breakdown” in industrial relations.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out from 5pm on Sunday July 12. They will also ban overtime over the weekend of July 10-12.
The move follows a 9-1 vote for strikes among union members at Southern, which operates commuter and other services between London, east Surrey and the Sussex coast.
The RMT said hundreds of engineers were involved in the dispute and warned that the strike will hit services.
Officials said under the 2013 pay settlement, a working group of union reps and managers was set up to find productivity measures that could cut the working week.
RMT recently planned industrial action in June, but was suspended after they took a new pay offer.
The union said the group could not find any way to bring in a 35-hour week with no extra cost to the company.
Productivity measures were subsequently brought in for engineers without leading to a reduction in the working week, said the RMT.
Statement in Respect of Proposed RMT Industrial Action on the Southern network
Date: 06 Jul 2015
The RMT has called a five day strike amongst its engineering members at Southern Railway starting from 16.59 Sunday 12 July until 16.59 Friday 17 July 2015. In addition, members have been instructed not to work any overtime between 17:00 on Friday 10 July and 16:59 on Sunday 12 July 2015. The RMT has called this action on the grounds of a ‘breakdown in industrial relations’.
We do not understand why the RMT has decided to take strike action in July, when Southern has less than three weeks of its existing franchise left. The new franchisee, GTR has provided them with a written commitment to addressing their aspirations to include a shorter working week as part of pay talks to start this month. There is no benefit in inconveniencing our passengers or causing our employees to lose money through strike action.
We are also at a loss to understand why they have issues around the lean process as this process was introduced four years ago and has successfully kept work in-house for their members. It has never before been raised by the Union as an issue.
Southern remains willing and ready to talk to the RMT to resolve these issues. We wrote to them to confirm the above points prior to them announcing this industrial action.
Less than 30% of our engineers voted for industrial action and if this strike goes ahead we expect the majority of our staff and managers to work as normal, and we will do everything we can to minimise the impact that any industrial action may have on our passengers. Source Southern Railways News