08:21 GMT +316 December 2019
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    A Southern Rail logo is pictured on the side of a train carriage as t stands at a platform at East Croydon station, south of London

    UK Southern Rail Three-Day Strike Begins as Owner-Union Talks Failed

    © AFP 2019 / Daniel Leal-Olivas
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    A three-day strike of the UK Southern Rail workers began across the United Kingdom on Tuesday, the company said in a statement.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The strike comes after the UK National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) failed to reach an agreement with the company's management over the role of conductors on trains. The Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), the owner of the Southern franchise, announced plans to introduce driver-only operation and change the role of conductors to "on board supervisors." The dispute has already called numerous strikes across the country.

    "Industrial action will severely disrupt Southern train services over the next three days with no train service on some of our routes and a much reduced service on others, further information about the services we are able to operate including some additional replacement bus routes can be found here," the statement read.

    On Monday, RMT said in a press release that they had received a formal legal challenge from Southern rail to stop three days of strikes from going ahead.

    In the United Kingdom, conductors are currently responsible for passenger health and safety, which includes opening and closing carriage doors to ensure everyone is safely on board, as well as providing any necessary assistance during the journey and dealing with emergency issues, such as fires, accidents or collisions.

    The changes proposed by the GTR aim to scrap the conductor role and make train drivers responsible for all on-board services.


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