Southern Rail wants to take a union to court to avert strikes

Beleaguered rail company Southern has announced it will take striking trade unions to court to try to stop strikes planned to begin tomorrow.

The RMT union said it has received legal papers but intends to go ahead with the action anyway, which centres on the role of train conductors and which member of staff should open doors.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “RMT can confirm the receipt of a formal legal challenge from Southern Rail in the guards safety dispute.

“It is appalling that rather than sitting down with us at Acas today to seek a resolution the company have chosen to run to the courts under the cloak of the anti-union laws.

“The union intends to continue with the planned action and is examining the details of the paperwork. We will issue a further statement in due course,” Cash added.

A Southern spokesman said: “On Friday they told their conductor members to accept a deal, and then tomorrow they plan to strike against it.

“It is a situation which will leave our passengers baffled, and in that context we are presently considering all possible options to stop the strike.”

“We have written to the RMT about the validity of the dispute in light of recent developments. We await their response and will consider all possible options to stop the strike and that includes a legal challenge.”

The strike is due to begin just after midnight.

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