Union calls for a national protest over Southern dispute

The RMT union has called for a national protest today in support of its members who are involved in an ongoing dispute over the role of guards on Southern Railway.

Union officials and some politicians - including Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas - will address demonstrators outside Parliament at lunchtime.

A protest will be followed by a rally inside Parliament Credit: PA

Earlier this month the Transport Select Committee exposed the on-going shambles that is Southern Rail and the blind-eye that has been turned by the Government to gross-mismanagement of this franchise on an industrial scale. The Select Committee called on the Government to engage in talks with the company and the union. That call has been ignored.

Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary

The conductors are planning to walkout again on Friday and Saturday.

Yesterday Southern told guards to call off the strike action and sign new contracts, otherwise a deal currently on the table will be withdrawn.

In a letter from Andy Bindon, who works for the the parent company of Southern, he urged Mr Cash to reconsider the union's position.

He said: "Your unnecessary action is continuing to have a material and negative impact on people's work and family lives as well the regional economy and I urge you to stop."