Light at the end of the tunnel: Southern rail owner and RMT to meet for fresh talks next week after Aslef deal

Share Friday 3 February 2017 4:10 pm The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union has agreed to meet with Southern rail’s parent company for fresh face-to-face talks, in an effort to settle its long-running dispute over the role of the guard.It comes after an agreement was reached between Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and train drivers’ union Aslef in their row, which should bring an end to the union’s industrial action – subject to a referendum of Aslef members. Aslef had suspended strikes planned for January in return for the talks at the Trades Union Congress (TUC).Read more: We have a deal: Southern rail resolves long-running dispute with AslefNow, Southern wants to bring an end to all walkouts, by inviting the RMT for talks next week.GTR chief executive Charles Horton has written to Mick Cash, the RMT’s general secretary, saying his negotiating team was willing to meet next week “in a spirit of open and positive dialogue to explore the areas of difference between us with a view to resolving the dispute in the interests of our customers and employees”.Yesterday, the RMT initially said it would need to see details of Aslef’s deal with Southern before committing to negotiations. Light at the end of the tunnel: Southern rail owner and RMT to meet for fresh talks next week after Aslef deal Read more: People are leaving floral tributes to Southern rail at train stationsHowever, Cash later said: RMT understands that central to the agreement with Aslef is a guarantee of a second person ‎on the train. We also understand that the implementation of that aspect of the agreement is subject to further discussions and negotiations with RMT around the safety competencies of that second member of staff.”It is now essential that we open up urgent ‎discussions with GTR around this core issue of the second safety-critical staff member, and the details of their future role, that will allow us all to move forwards. RMT is available for those talks with immediate effect.  Rebecca Smith Aslef has said its members needed to see details of the deal, before they can be revealed publicly. Southern and Aslef announce agreement reached: whatsapp whatsapp

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