Rail unions warn of further chaos on Govia Thameslink

ThameslinkTSSA negotiators are this afternoon meeting Govia Thameslink bosses at ACAS in a bid to head off the company’s plans to close or downgrade more than 80 ticket offices.


The meeting takes place as TSSA and ASLEF members are holding strike ballots, and the day after RMT members voted to take 24 hours’ strike action next week over the same issue.

TSSA organising director Lorraine Ward said: “Govia Thameslink’s management of Southern is running the service into the ground. It is clear to passengers and staff alike that to serve the public effectively and ensure a safe running of the service, Southern should not reduce current staffing levels.

“This is the largest and busiest franchise in the UK rail network and, up to now, the measures Govia are proposing will simply slash passenger and staff safety standards on this dangerously over-strained service.

“All unions have been resolute in standing firm in the face of this plan and we are now optimistic that Govia will be showing willing to abandon it at today’s talks.”

Meanwhile, RMT members voted 70% for strike action on September 7th.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “The Govia Thamelink franchise is in meltdown and not fit for purpose. Not content with axing catering services, closing ticket offices and attacking the role of their guards they now want to threaten 130 station jobs and compromise the safety of both their passengers and staff alike.

“Our members have made it clear that they will not stand by while this basket-case franchise unleashes yet another attack on jobs and services in the drive for profits and that is why we have no option but to take strike action.

“These cuts plans fly in the face of the response from the thousands of passengers who objected to the closure of ticket offices and the de-staffing of stations as Govia drives on with plans for a ‘faceless railway’ where the public are left to fend for themselves on rammed-out, dangerous and unreliable services.

“It is about time Govia Thameslink started acting responsibly, halted their cuts plans and got round the table with the union in serious and genuine talks.”

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