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Rail strikes suspended as fresh talks begin

Southampton commuters can breathe a sigh of relief after it was announced that next week’s strikes on Southern rail have been suspended.

A three-day strike beginning on Tuesday 24th January has been stopped by Aslef- the union representing the train drivers – in order to begin talks with Southern rail.

General Secretary of Aslef Mick Whelan said: “The best way to resolve the dispute at Southern is for all parties to engage in meaningful talks.”

The Trades Union Congress have confirmed “intensive talks” for next Wednesday.

In a separate row over the role of conductors, the RMT union still plans to strike on Monday.

In a press release RMT expressed its hope to have similar talks with the company:

“RMT has today written to the TUC requesting that this union be involved in the same process over the current Southern guards dispute that has been agreed with our sister union ASLEF over the drivers dispute.

“In the meantime, the scheduled action in the Southern guards dispute remains on.”

The train strikes started as Southern rail wants to implement Driver-Only-Operated (DOO) trains.

Unions say that this creates safety concerns as train guards can stop people being hurt or trapped in the doors, and aid drivers if they are injured in a crash.

Southern rail apologises for every interruption to passengers travels and in a previous statement said: “Our door remains open for meaningful talks.”

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