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  1. ITV Report

Body Shop boss condemns Southern strikes for 'messing up the business'

The boss of The Body Shop has condemned Southern Railway for strikes which are costing his company a fortune and 'messing up the business'.

Speaking to ITV News, Jeremy Schwartz said the current wave of industrial action was making it difficult to recruit and retain staff. And those they manage to keep hold of often turn up for work late.

Frankly I'm finding it very hard to convince people to join us - great talent - because they're concerned about what they can see with the trains.

I would just make a simple plea - please, please, please sort this out.

– Jeremy Schwartz, Chief Executive, The Body Shop

Actually I think it's a fantastic train service - not many people say that. I really believe it and that's why I was willing to move my office from London to east Croydon because of many of the rail companies I go on worldwide frankly Southern is actually brilliant - except for these last months where it's messing up the business.

– Jeremy Schwartz, Chief Executive, The Body Shop

Members of the RMT union are staging a 48-hour walkout, which ends at midnight on Saturday, in the bitter dispute over the role of conductors.

More action is planned in the coming weeks, and the union has escalated the row by calling strikes over Christmas and the New Year.