RMT union members at SWR to walk out in December

South Western Railway workers in the RMT on strike in Bournemouth, 18.6.19, photo Jane Ward

South Western Railway workers in the RMT on strike in Bournemouth,

Guards and drivers on South West Railway (SWR) will be taking an unprecedented 27-days of strike action in December in order to retain safety-critical guards on SWR trains.

The RMT union is incensed that the private rail operator refuses to acknowledge this safety role, but instead is intent on downgrading the role of the guard.

Workers throughout the industry have been battling, with mixed results, in recent years to prevent driver-only operation of trains. RMT members in SWR have already taken several days’ strike action this year on this issue.

Back in September, Geoff Kite, RMT national executive member, told the Socialist: “The RMT will continue to fight for a safety-critical guard on every train. We will not allow the company to put performance over safety by diluting the role into a token gesture to the travelling public.”