All across East Surrey this week, the strikes on Southern Rail have meant that the cost to businesses will be in the millions, everyday routines such as getting to school or appointments will have been disrupted and thousands of commuters will not have been able to get to work.
David Lee, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Liberal Democrats in East Surrey says “It is welcome that the Unions have accepted the invite to talks directly with Chris Grayling the Transport Secretary. The action required is urgent, and it needs to happen now before our local economy is irrevocably damaged.” However, with no update on the talks, David Lee is calling for the following to attempt to resolve the crisis:
1/ All parties involved – Southern Rail, RMT and Aslef agree to return to the independent tribunal ACAS for arbitration.
2/ There should be no pre-conditions to the talks.
3/ There must be no strikes whilst the talks continue.
4/ The final terms agreed by the negotiation be binding on all concerned.
5/ Furthermore, that the Department for Transport must also accept the agreement and in the spirit of honest negotiation, publicly commit to not preventing Southern Rail from reaching terms with the Trade Unions.
David Lee says “this dispute has lead to chaos in our area. I have had to take two busses rather than the train which added an hour to my journey just to get to work this morning as the usual train services were not running. Both sides have a responsibility to the people of East Surrey to sort this out.”
David Lee goes onto say “Rarely do people need to contact their M.P. but it is at times like this you need their support. I am calling on Sam Gyimah to support my recommendation and for him to call for action from Chris Grayling to make this happen.”