England

South Western Railway strike to go ahead amid guard dispute

South Western Rail
Image caption Previous action had been suspended following talks between the two sides

A strike by South Western Railway staff is set to go ahead after a union claimed the operator had "failed to respond seriously" to its offer.

Workers are due to strike for eight days over six weeks in the long-running row over the role of guards on trains.

Rail union RMT said it was "angry and frustrated" at what it called a "tired response" from the firm.

SWR said the decision, which will see staff strike within 36 hours, was "frustrating and disappointing".

The operator claimed it had told RMT it would keep a guard on all of its services "time and time again", and the offer would continue to "deliver safe services and improve our performance".

'Profits before safety'

However, RMT general secretary Mick Cash said in a statement it had met with "the same old response from a company that refuses to move the process on and address the fundamental issues".

Mr Cash accused SWR of putting "private profits before public safety at a time of unprecedented and dangerous pressure on their services".

The strikes are scheduled to take place on 26, 28 and 31 July as well as on 4, 11, 18, 31 August and 1 September.

A previous planned strike by staff was called off in June by members of the union.

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