So, yet another day with the train 'service' effected by industrial action in Hastings and the South and South-East, though this time, RMT members, ie conductors on Northern and Merseyrail as well as on Southern, have joined in (thanks to the BBC for this image, by the way)! If you need to travel on Southern before midnight, here is a link to what's been arranged to account for a disrupted service on Southern's website.
Of course, rail workers from other rail companies are now joining in the fray, as the Government continues to interfere in 'franchised' train companies operating, with its policy of bringing in driver-only trains across the country to save staffing costs. The unions' argument (Aslef drivers are still involved, of course, indeed, many Aslef drivers on Merseyrail have refused to cross picket lines and so further disrupted Merseyrail's service today) is that this is about safety, though it has to be about jobs as well, in reality.
The unions do not trust the Government, let alone the train operating companies, to ensure jobs are safe, as plans are afoot to re-train guards to become drivers as current drivers retire, thus, the so-called reduction of guards' duties will see only one member of staff left on trains, including 12 carriage trains stopping at platforms where there are fewer than 12 carriages meeting the platform, and we have many station platforms down here that have fewer than four carriage length platforms! Consequently, jobs will be lost...
Not to mention, no guards to help customers with special needs and disabilities, eg blind people and those in wheelchairs, nor guards to collect fares from those who board trains at stations with no staff, thus losing income too! Oh well... I haven't been around for a few days as I had a weekend away, coincidentally, having to use the 'replacement bus service' between Brighton and Polegate yesterday, this one due to railworks, will it ever end?