Kit Malthouse MP was informed last week by the Managing Director of South Western Railway (SWR), that RMT plans to strike on 8th and 9th November.
Mr Malthouse has asked for an urgent meeting with the rail operator to understand the impact on services in the constituency and what it being done to mitigate the disruption for residents around Grateley, Andover, Whitchurch and Overton.
SWR has said that this news “is hugely disappointing given the positive talks we have been having with local union representatives”.
Last night, SWR tabled a framework for the operation of the new suburban fleet to the RMT General Secretary which they said would have allowed talks to continue in the joint hope of finding a solution which would not inconvenience passengers.
The train operator said that it guaranteed to roster a guard on every train; and that every guard would continue to be trained in safety critical activity, including track safety and train evacuation.
In their letter, they also said that they: “have always made clear to the RMT, we are guaranteeing jobs, salaries and terms and conditions of guards.” They added that as they “expand our fleet and services, we will be creating jobs on the service – which should be welcomed by the union.”
“The RMT Executive has chosen today to ignore this offer and choose instead to involve all our employees and passengers in damaging strike action.”
SWR have trained a team of contingency guards from within their workforce to provide passengers with the best service possible should these strikes go ahead.