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RMT calls for new talks on second SWR strike day

THE RMT union has urged South Western Railway to return to the negotiating table, on the second day of the strike over on-train staffing and the future role of guards.

The walkouts are currently set to continue almost without a break until New Year’s Day.

The last talks broke up on Thursday evening, and SWR has claimed that a potential settlement was rejected by the RMT’s Executive after the meeting.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘Our members are solidly supporting the second day of this phase of strike action and are standing firm the length and breadth of the franchise in defence of the role of the guard, accessibility and the safest method of train despatch and operation.

‘It is frankly ludicrous for the company to simply jam their heads in the sand rather than getting back round the table to get the same deal back on track that they pulled away from at the last minute in earlier negotiations.

‘A deal is there to be done which would cost the company nothing and which would give the safety and accessibility guarantees at the platform/train interface that we have been seeking. SWR need to get out of the bunker and get back into talks.’

SWR responded: ‘We are always open to talks if the RMT is ready to work with us to improve our service and develop a more visible, customer-focused role for guards.’

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