Updated on May 23, 2017: The RMT union is suspending its strike scheduled for Tuesday, May 30, on Southern Rail, which operates the Uckfield Line.
The union’s general secretary Mick Cash said: “In the light of the horrific bombing in Manchester last night, and the heightened safety and security alerts on our transport services, TMT’s executive has taken the decision to suspend the 24 hours of strike action scheduled for Tuesday, May 30, on Merseyrail, Northern Rail and Southern Raiol.
He added: “Our thoughts and solidarity at this time are with the people of Manchester.”
A Southern spokesman said: “This is an appropriate response by the RMT to the tragedy in Manchester. We thank them for taking this step.”
Updated at 3.45pm, May 17
Train drivers on Southern who are ASLEF members will no longer work overtime from June 4. The RMT has called a strike for May 30.
ASLEF said talks to find a resolution to the long-running dispute with the train operator broke down yesterday (May 16) leading to today’s announcement.
The drivers voted 87.3% on a turnout of 77% – to strike; with 95.6% voting for action short of a strike, ie, an overtime ban.
Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, said: ‘We have been talking to Southern to try and resolve the outstanding issues in a way which works for drivers, passengers, and the company.
“Unfortunately, the company has refused to move its position so we have, reluctantly, informed them that our members will refuse to work overtime from the end of this month.’
Earlier the rail union RMT announced a new strike date affecting Southern Rail, operator of the Uckfield Line. It is due to take place on Tuesday, May 30, for 24 hours between 0001 and 2359 hours.
The RMT made the announcement yesterday. The union says it followed Southern Rail revealing that 8216 trains a year would run without an on board supervisor.
The union says this means the safety of the travelling public, and access for people with disabilities, will be “severely compromised and leaves the RMT with no option but to continue with the campaign of industrial action in an effort to force a safe and sustainable settlement to the dispute.”
Andy Bindon, HR diretor at Govia Thameslink Railway, parent company of Southern Rail, said: “We are hugely disappointed that once again the RMT has called a strike, particularly since we put a further reasoable offer to the union today (Tuesday, May 16).
“The RMT’s proposals would mean cancelling trains and reducing service levels to our passengers.
“Our service levels are stabilising at the highest we’ve seen in years and we cannot agree to anythng which will jeopardise running trains and the service to our passengers.
“With passenger numbers doubling every 20 years, railway capacity is being addressed by a UK-wide railway modernisation programme that necessitates change.
“W ask the RMT to help us to underpin and maximise train frequency and capacity now and for the future.”
Govia says Southern ran 95% of its services during the last RMT strike, on April 8. This next strike would be the RMT’s 32nd day of action.
“The RMT is asking us to cancel any train that – in exceptional circumstances – would not have a second member of staff on board.
“While we assign on-board supervisors to each train that previously had a conductor, on occasions this may not be possible. In this situation we would rather run the service than cancel it.”