South Western Railway workers vote heavily to take strike action

Members of the RMT union picketing in Colchester today. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Members of the RMT union picketing in Colchester today. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
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Workers on South Western Railway have voted heavily in favour of striking in the dispute over the role of guards on trains.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union backed walkouts by 4-1 on a turnout of 76 per cent, well above the 50 per cent threshold in the Trade Union Act.

Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The company only took over from South West Trains in August, running services to and from London Waterloo, including the Portsmouth area.

It is now the fifth rail operator to be embroiled in a dispute over the role of guards and driver-only trains.

RMT members at Southern, Merseyrail, Arriva Rail North and Greater Anglia were said to be ‘solidly supporting’ a 24-hour strike today over the same issue, with another stoppage due on Thursday.

Picket lines were mounted outside stations, including in Manchester, where the Conservative Party conference is being held.