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Southern lose High Court bid to ban strikes

9 December 2016

TSSA General Secretary responds to the news that the owners of Southern Railway have lost their High Court bid to halt a series of strikes by train drivers.

Manuel Cortes said:

"The hot-headed ideologues in Chris Grayling's Department for Transport (DfT) will have had the smirks wiped well and truly off their faces with this news today. They have egged on Govia Thameslink Rail (GTR) every step off the way in this ridiculous and clearly unlawful battle to take on rail workers. They have goaded rail workers, lied about their terms and conditions, slandered their unions, and DfT civil servant, Peter Wilkinson Passenger Service Director has even incited 'punch-ups" with rail workers.

"Our railways are not being made safer by these privateers and as every Southern commuter knows the real losers have been passengers. Delays have lost people job offers as well as their jobs, investors have been put off investing, parents have too often missed picking up their kids from childminders because of the way this lot have conspired to make Southern work for shareholders rather than passengers.

"Our anti-union laws means that these days if workers are withdrawing their labour, there are good heartfelt reasons to do so as countless legal loops need to be jumped. In this case rail workers do not believe Southern's changes will ensure their working conditions remain safe thus also jeopardising passenger safety.

"I thank the courts for respecting rail workers lawful right to strike. Those that have forced this action at Southern and In the DfT must now fall on their swords and GTR must be stripped of the franchise without delay."

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