Rail union row continues

A South Western Railway train at Waterloo

Relief for Portsmouth commuters as this week’s South Western Railway strike is called off

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A ROW between rail operator Govia Thameslink Railway and rail union RMT has taken another turn.

Yesterday the RMT accused GTR of lying about staff sickness in order to cancel trains.

It said a picture tweeted by a passenger of the 1.03pm service from Brighton to Chichester showed the driver and conductor ready to work on the train, which was cancelled due to staff sickness.

RMT secretary Mick Cash accused the company of ‘lying through their back teeth’.

GTR, which runs Southern Rail, which has services from Portsmouth, said RMT was wrong to claim the train company was deliberately cancelling services and blaming it on a lack of train crew.

It said the facts were misrepresented and the numbers. A spokesman for Southern said: ‘The simple fact is sickness levels among train crew is very high.’