Southern rail strike by RMT to go ahead despite talks

Southern train Image copyright PA
Image caption Saturday's strike will be the 31st day of action in the dispute

A strike by the RMT on Southern rail will go ahead on Saturday after "no specific proposals" were put forward by the company in talks, the union said.

The 24-hour industrial action is part of an ongoing dispute over staffing and the role of conductors on driver-only operated trains.

A strike planned for 4 April on Southern routes was moved to 8 April after the company offered fresh talks.

Saturday's strike will be the 31st day of action in the year-long dispute.

Southern said it planned to provide "almost its entire normal Saturday timetable".

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Talks between the RMT union and Southern's parent company, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) were held on Tuesday to try to find a breakthrough to the bitter dispute.

However, RMT leader Mick Cash told his members: "Regrettably there have been no specific proposals from Southern to justify suspending the industrial action.

"I have informed Southern that we are available at any time for further meaningful talks to resolve this very difficult dispute.

"In the meantime, I urge you to continue your outstanding support and solidarity and stand shoulder to shoulder with your colleagues during the industrial action."

The move followed rejection of a proposed agreement by members of the drivers' union Aslef, who have been holding separate strikes over the same issue.

Aslef leaders and Southern are due to meet again to try to find a solution which is acceptable to drivers.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Thousands of commuters have faced months of delays and disruption

Members of the RMT will also strike on Saturday at Merseyrail and Arriva Trains North in similar disputes.

The action will affect people travelling to the Grand National at Aintree.

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