Company's contingency plans will only provide a partial service
The strike will be the biggest dispute on the train network since 1989
South Western Railway (SWR) is telling its passengers to plan ahead for the planned industrial action on its network.
The RMT is holding a national strike on Tuesday 21, Thursday 23 and Saturday 25 June and severe disruption is anticipated. It will be the biggest train dispute since 1989 affecting 13 train operating companies and on the 21 June there will also be action on London Underground.
SWR expect significantly reduced service levels but, at this stage, are unable to release details. It is working closely with Network Rail and other train operators to finalise a significantly reduced timetable for those dates.
With Network Rail signallers and more than 2,100 SWR RMT members taking industrial action, it is likely that significant parts of the South Western Railway network will be unavailable for travel on those dates. Where routes are open, it is likely that far fewer trains will run than normal.
As a result, passengers are urged to change their travel dates if they can and, for those who have to travel on those dates, to begin looking for alternative methods of transport.
Teams are also working to update hospitals, schools, airports and businesses across the network on what this will mean for them.
Claire Mann, Managing Director of South Western Railway, said, “I understand that the announcement of upcoming industrial action will worry many of our customers, particularly against the backdrop of significant cost of living pressures.
“We are carefully finalising contingency plans, but I’m afraid this action will mean that many customers will be unable to travel by rail.
“If customers can change their date of travel, or make alternative arrangements, I urge them to begin making those arrangements as soon as possible.
“I appreciate how challenging this may be and would like to thank customers for their patience as the rail industry responds to this unprecedented industrial action.”
The RMT says that Network Rail and the train operating companies have subjected their staff to multiyear pay freezes and plan to cut thousands of jobs which they claim will make the railways unsafe.
RMT says it has not been able to secure a pay proposal nor a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said, "Railway workers have been treated appallingly and despite our best efforts in negotiations, the rail industry with the support of the government has failed to take their concerns seriously.
"We have a cost-of-living crisis, and it is unacceptable for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1pc and rising.
"Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system.
"Rail companies are making at least £500m a year in profits, whilst fat cat rail bosses have been paid millions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"This unfairness is fuelling our members anger and their determination to win a fair settlement.
"RMT is open to meaningful negotiations with rail bosses and ministers, but they will need to come up with new proposals to prevent months of disruption on our railways."
In a separate dispute over pensions and job losses, London Underground RMT members will take strike action on 21 June.
SWR will publish details of its reduced timetable when finalised and passengers should check the website for latest updates.
Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More
This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.
Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.
We've always done that and won't be changing, in fact we'd like to do more.
However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.
We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.
A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.
One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.
If you do support us in this way we'd be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.
For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you'd like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.
June 8, 2022