Southeastern passengers have been warned not to travel on three dates in June, due to strike action by railway staff. The train operator has warned the vast majority of trains will not run on these dates and most statins will be closed.
There will be an extremely limited service on Southeastern during the nation RMT industrial action and services will be severely restricted. Southeastern estimates only 20% of trains will be running
There will be no trains on Southeastern routes except for a limited service on the Dartford and Orpington routes and Highspeed routes between London St Pancras and Ashford.
Read more: Ex-soldier disgusted after’MOD not welcome here’ sign appears in Folkestone
The three dates with “do not travel” warnings are Tuesday 21, Thursday 23, and Saturday 25 June. Southeastern has warned there will also be significant morning disruption expected on the days immediately after industrial action, which are Wednesday 22, Friday 24 and Sunday. 26 June.
Scott Brightwell, Southeastern’s Operations and Safety Director, said: “We want to avoid industrial action, because we know it’ll be really difficult for our customers. If these strikes go ahead there’ll be significant disruption to our services between Tuesday and Sunday ..
“The number of train services we’ll be able to run will be extremely limited. Many of our routes will have no trains and most stations will be closed. So, we’re advising passengers please do not travel on strike days as we cannot guarantee you will be able to travel.
“We want to make sure you’re fully refunded for not being able to travel. Information on how to claim refunds is available on our website, or you can give us a call.
“I’d like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience and frustration this industrial action will cause. We urge the RMT to call off the industrial action, and work with us to find a resolution as we look to rebuild the railway together.”
Why are the RMT striking?
The RMT estimates over 50,000 railway workers will walkout over the three days, which they call “the biggest dispute on the network since 1989.” They say the action is “due to the inability of the rail employers to come to a negotiated settlement with RMT . “.”
The spokesman said: “Network Rail and the train operating companies have subjected their staff to multiyear pay freezes and plan to cut thousands of jobs which will make the railways unsafe. Despite intense talks with the rail bosses, RMT has not been able to secure a pay proposal nor a guarantee of no compulsory red undancies. “
In a separate dispute over pensions and job losses, London Underground RMT members will take strike action on June 21st.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Railway workers have been treated appallingly and despite our best efforts in negotiations, the rail industry with the support of the government has failed to take their concerns seriously.
“We have a cost-of-living crisis, and it is unacceptable for railway workers to either lose their jobs or face another year of a pay freeze when inflation is at 11.1pc and rising.
“Our union will now embark on a sustained campaign of industrial action which will shut down the railway system. Rail companies are making at least £ 500m a year in profits, whilst fat cat rail bosses have been paid millions during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This unfairness is fuelling our members anger and their determination to win a fair settlement. RMT is open to meaningful negotiations with rail bosses and ministers, but they will need to come up with new proposals to prevent months of disruption on our railways.”
Get the KentLive newsletter free to your mobile, tablet or desktop here.