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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 June 2019

Salisbury South Western Rail strikers determined

Bluestar bus drivers on strike in Southampton, supported by RMT general secretary candidate Sean Hoyle, 18.6.19, photo Nick Chaffey

Bluestar bus drivers on strike in Southampton, supported by RMT general secretary candidate Sean Hoyle, 18.6.19, photo Nick Chaffey   (Click to enlarge)

RMT transport union guards striking on South Western Rail (SWR) on 21 June were determined to carry on the fight to keep the guards. As one of the pickets said, the agreement is on the table and all the SWR management have to do is sign it.

They could not understand why other disputes such as the one on Arriva Rail North had involved 40 meetings between the management and the unions but there had only been four in the case of SWR. They also said that SWR was failing to provide a decent service with filthy trains which often broke down.

RMT president Michelle Rodgers visited the picket line saying: "SWR need to have a good look at how they were going to get round the table and resolve the dispute. It's a disgrace that they won't sit down and get involved in meaningful talks with the RMT. The company has at its disposal the means to offer a solution which will end the dispute."

Michelle went on to say that what is paramount and at the forefront of everyone's mind is the issue of safety. This attack on the safety of trains is purely based on the greed of the rail company's shareholders.

Jane Ward, Southampton Socialist Party

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