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More rail chaos as guards plan new strikes

RAIL travellers will face fresh chaos this month. Guards at Connex South Eastern who work on the North West Kent line will hold two 48-hour strikes in a long-running row over their safety role.

Members of the Rail Maritime and Transport Union will walk out on May 6 and 7 and on May 27 and 28.

Both strikes will take place immediately after bank holidays. They follow three 24-hour stoppages in recent weeks.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: "This is a dispute about safety, pure and simple.

"The guard's role has been watered down and it needs to be restored to the rulebook in full-no ifs, no buts and no maybes.

"Our members and the travelling public have the right to know that the safest working practices are in place on our railways.

"The employers have dragged this dispute out for years and our members have made it clear that they will not be fobbed off with unkept promises."

Connex South Eastern believes commuter disruption will be kept to a minimum however.

A spokesman said: "We are extremely disappointed union members have decided to strike yet again.

"We have been, and will continue to train managers to fill the role of guards on the trains.

"Because of this we are confident of running an 80 per cent service. This is a similar service to the one we had running during the last strike dates.

"Connex does want to apologise, as we know the strikes disrupt our customers but we are hoping to keep this disruption to a minimum."

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