Fifth Strike On Southern Rail Continues

A strike by workers on Southern Railway is being ``solidly supported'', causing fresh travel chaos for hundreds of thousands of passengers.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union have walked out for 48 hours in the long-running dispute over the role of conductors.

Picket lines were mounted outside busy stations including London Victoria and Brighton and disability campaigners were joining them to show support for the RMT's campaign.

Southern plans to run up to 60% of its services during the industrial action.

Passengers faced another difficult day getting to work or school following months of disruption caused by the dispute and high levels of staff sickness.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ``Reports from all locations this morning confirm that the strike action is rock-solid and determined again across the Southern Rail network as we fight to put rail safety and access before the profits of the failed Govia Thameslink operation.

``Just a fraction of the #100 million in cash hoarded by this outfit could keep the guards on the trains, keep the trains safe and resolve this dispute.

``This action has been forced on us by the arrogance and inaction of Govia Thameslink and the Government, who have made it clear that they have no interest in resolving this dispute or in tackling the daily chaos on Southern.

``We will be joined by disability campaigners on the picket lines this morning as we expose the fact that axing staff from Southern services will deny members of the public their legal right to travel under the Equality Act. It is scandalous that GTR have chosen to ignore that issue.

``RMT's fight is with the company and the Government, who have dragged this franchise into total meltdown. We share the anger and frustration of passengers and we cannot sit back while jobs and safety are compromised on these dangerously overcrowded trains.''

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